Paradoxes in a parallel universe
Dubai is an intriguing and weird place which I still can’t wrap my head around. I thoroughly enjoy every moment and feel privileged to be here, but sometimes feel like I’ve landed in a parallel universe.
If I would’ve gotten a dollar every time someone in Dubai has told me that I’m tall (huh, really?) I would be able to afford the Atlantis hotel for an entire month. Next to the elegant, petite Arab and Asian women, I feel like a jolly old giant (boerin, GVR). In the dating scene I foresee that my options will be limited. However, on the flip side: tall guys will be able to pick me out in a club in an instant since I stick out everywhere. And yes, I still wear heels haha.
What has intrigued me most is that there are so many paradoxes. For example, being drunk in public can land you in jail. Yet I’ve never seen so many drunk people, mainly tourists, in my life… not even on Ibiza.
Also, I’ve tried to refrain from wearing short dresses because I figured it’s regarded as disrespectful. Many tourists obviously don’t read the Lonely Planet and wear their beach outfit to the mall. But what surprises me most is the scantily dressed women in nightclubs; it seems like many left their house forgetting half their outfit. I’m from Amsterdam and I’m not prude, and I’m all for wearing a sexy outfit. But sorry, (silicone) cleavage down to your navel does not equal sexy, ladies! And then I realize most of them are hookers, oops, and this explains a lot.
Another big difference I’ve noticed is how ambitious everyone is in Dubai; the ‘work hard, play hard’ cliche is reality here. In Holland, most people graduate from university when they’re around 24. And travel a bit afterwards, trying to postpone the moment when you have to start working until you’re 67. Here, people start working at age 21, and by the time they’ve reached my age are CEO of something. I’ve always considered myself hard working and ambitious, but I am quite impressed by the youngsters here.
I am not complaining though, I enjoy every weird, paradoxical moment and I have to pinch myself sometimes to realize “wow I moved to Dubai!”. Yes, I needed a change, and boy, did I get one.