I love Dubai. It astounds me when so many people say to me “ah yeah obviously I won’t stay here forever, maybe just a few years…” Why? Where else is better? And where else will take you? But as with any city in which I have lived, I always manage to find a few problems. Dubai problems. These aren’t problems with infrastructure or anything government or Expo 2020 related as I think all of these ventures achieve total perfection, these are other things:
1. Toilet Cleaners
95% of the time I go into the toilet I have to piss with some silent lurker just behind me. Yeah the toilets are clean, but surely it only takes 10 minutes per hour max to achieve this level of cleanliness? Plus it must be boring and pretty soul destroying to stand around listening to people do whatever it is they are doing in the cubicle.
For me, I like to spend at least five minutes looking at myself in the mirror in various poses, and I don’t feel I can do this with all the enthusiasm it deserves when some poor lad is stood around behind me waiting for me to drip a bit of tap water on the floor so he can grab his mop. Also, I don’t need some stranger monitoring my bathroom habits. It’s not cool. Whoever is in control of this incessant requirement for toilet monitoring is urged to have a re-think. With immediate effect.
2. Selfishness & Laziness in Public
Not sure if this is a cultural thing, but this has many aspects to it. Firstly, why does nobody let you get off the metro or the tram before they bundle into you in desperation to take solace from the indoor, air-conditioned environment they were in moments before? It’s strange behaviour. The instructions quite clearly say stand to the left or right to let people get off. It’s just rude and embarrassingly inconsiderate.
But if you do occasionally get the metro, you will find the rudeness does not end there. On the travelators and escalators, people just stand about blocking everyone else who doesn’t necessarily command a piece of machinery to carry them 100 metres without walking. Here’s the news: Real actual people walk. Get out the way. Use your brains. Just because you’re too lazy to walk don’t slow me down too. I get on the travelator so I can get to where I want to be faster (only if it’s home time obviously, if it’s on the way to work, fine, build a human blockade).
Of course nobody says thanks if you hold a door or let them come through a confined space first either, but that’s just become a source for constant amusement more than anything else.
3. Laziness in Private
When did it become OK to call the shop and get them to deliver a chocolate bar? Are you real? Half the expat population crying because they have put on the fabled “Dubai Stone”, and yet moments later they are calling the guy downstairs to bring up a pint of milk.
4. Cringeworthy, Extreme Self-Righteousness
This one is serious. Who is anyone to talk to taxi drivers, cleaners or shop assistants like they are a piece of shit you just scraped off your shoe? Seriously the “big deal syndrome” that seems to come over some of the saddest acts you can come across in Dubai is perplexing. Manners really do cost nothing, and these people who hold themselves in such high regard would do well to remember that if they were to speak to anyone in their own country the way they do to some of the people over here, they’d better be able to run fast.
It’s not just words, it’s actions too. If you’re a 25 year old, able-bodied girl and you can’t even bring yourself to pack your own shopping bag, instead waiting for the cashier to scan your items, complete your card transaction, and then pack your bag for you while you whatsapp your mates about what time you can meet in Barasti, you probably need to take yourself to one side and have a quiet word with yourself. Or if I’m in the queue behind you, I’ll be happy to have a word with you.
5. The wrong kind of horn in the morning
People really do have an unshakeable enthusiasm towards the use of their horn here in Dubai. Particularly outside my bedroom window, and particularly between the hours of 6am and 8am. I’m not sure it is directly targeted at me with the intention of waking me up, there’s far too many pitches of horn for it to just be one person. And it would be too hard to synchronise that many people all to arrive outside my apartment simultaneously. But whatever it is they are beeping at, it had better be a real inconvenience.
Feel free to comment with any of your #dubaiproblems. You know, we’d love to read them….