Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Under all that glitter and glamour

Dubai at night- Photo from Dubai Informer

Unlocked front doors and that safe, sheltered feeling. The insomnia of the city. Coming back home at 3 in the morning without a turn over your shoulder. Interminable, suffocating traffic. Global village in "Winter". The status quo. That Dubai-an mix of an accent. Gigantic shopping malls. Neat, spotless streets and bins decorated with flowers. Calling Rafeeg for anything you want, anytime, delivered right to your doorstep. Seeing mini-colonies of every country under the sun. Witty, friendly, green police. Etisalat and Du and their hate clubs. Pretty mosques at every corner. Ignored speed radars. The high-heels, and the Ray-bans that stay put in-doors. Street-side Chai karak. Pink taxis. People walking around town with their noses in their BBs. Streets that change everyday and out-dated GPSes. Gamboo3as. Having your petrol filled for you. All the restaurants you can think of. Cooled air, all around. Twenty-somethings and their independent cake and abaya businesses. Niqabs and skimpy clothes. The undercover universes of Karama and Bur Dubai. The other under-cover universes of public transport. The categorization of people. The locals and the almost locals and the expat Arabs and the Desis and the Filipinos. And the white house-wives with their gym and spa subscriptions. The uninterrupted weather rants. The Salik dodgeball. Everyday fireworks. 

After you've lived somewhere for a while, the good and the ugly start to infuse and eventually become- the familiar. It's not that the pros and cons stop being what they are. It's just that they sink into you- or you sink into them. Like how the initial pleasure and shock of owning a fancy car and having to wear ugly uniform for school stop having that effect on you.

The Dubai-ans here are mostly not really Dubai-ans. They have their own homes to pine for somewhere else. Circumstance got them here, and Comfort kept them. Gripped them in not so reluctantly. I don't know about anyone else but I can speak for myself. The damage has been done- I have been enchanted by my temporary home. 

10 comments:

  1. My favorite line from this post is: After you've lived somewhere for a while, the good and the ugly start to infuse and eventually become- the familiar. It's so true! Dubai is really pretty...

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  2. That's really profound, now that I think about it. Makes sense, I guess - people are always complaining about the suburb I live in, and yet to me it just... is.

    Beautifully worded, and thanks for that look into Dubai. My cousin is moving there soon, so perhaps I shall link her to this as a preview ^^

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  3. Yeah, that's just the Dubai-an feeling!
    The worst part it [quote] 'The Dubai-ans here are mostly not really Dubai-ans. They have their own homes to pine for somewhere else. Circumstance got them here, and Comfort kept them. '
    It's like, you're neither in the 'here' nor in the 'there'. Esp if you come from my county, parents are just too divided and indecisive about how to strike up a balance!

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  4. What a delightful look into Dubai! Pink taxis struck me as the most peculiar thing LOL but must be good to look at!

    I really agree with- "After you've lived somewhere for a while, the good and the ugly start to infuse and eventually become- the familiar."

    Yup.

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  5. A lovely way to view temporary residences. A. Sahra selected the perfect quote from your post.

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  6. I love love love this post. You've summed up Dubai so well...and I'm locked in too!

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  7. just LOVE the way you write, I dont know Dubai but I think the describtion you made is amazing, maybe because of the way you wrote it :)

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  8. Great post, I can see Dubai from one's perspective..

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  9. "Circumstance got them here, and Comfort kept them." Ouch! But true. For those born and bought up here though there were no circumstances. They were here all along. And this has become home. Their identity, their culture may be from some other place. But their lives, their memories will be from this one.

    Beautifully written post!

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  10. Hopped on here from Furree Katt's! I was just in Dubai, for the very first time, all of last week and I fell hopelessly in love with the city! Your post describes precisely why! :)

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