Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bitch, bitch, bitch, whine, whine, whine…

I can not believe the amount of time, space and financial resources this society uses to bitch, whine and moan about petty bullshit. It’s incredible, really.

The ‘Letters to the Editors,’ in any of the UAE’s leading papers are full of repetitive rubbish from expats & nationals a like. There’s nothing more nauseating than repetition.

Open any newspaper on any day and I assure you, you’ll find a comment about a ‘psychotic’ driver, you’ll find a comment about the quality of accommodation, you’ll find something about the cost of living or construction, and lets not leave out the my-country-and-my-culture-is-superior-to-yours, letters now, either. You’ll defiantly see something about the injustices of the legal system here at least every other day. And if you’re inclined enough to read Gulf News, you’ll almost certainly find at least four or five letters stating the exact same thing, but using different words.

It’s amazing how many choices one language gives you to make the same point about the same fucking thing, isn’t it?

If you can’t beat them, join them. I’m going to bitch, bitch, bitch and whine, whine, whine about some of these things; because I’m cranky and I damn well feel like it.

My complaints are as follows:

  • This country can afford to build luxuries like 6 lane highways or Burj Al Arab, but it can’t accommodate international standard, competent hospitals or schools. Never ceases to amaze me; the priorities of some people.

  • A university degree is a MUST have for mother’s who wish to sponsor their children regardless of their position at work, or salary. This one in particular pisses me off, because a very good friend of mine was raped, scared to inform the police (can you blame her?), fell pregnant, lost a great job and ended up in her home country, a place she’d never spent more than a month in, during her entire life; that doesn’t even have medicine (I SHIT YOU NOT, I was there when she delivered) in the hospitals, let alone an economy where people can afford the pleasure of having children and eat at the same time!

  • The Plastic People. I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, if you’ve been in the UAE long enough you’re bound to pick up a layer of superficial plastic; otherwise you’ll become a social reject, and it’ll be virtually impossible to advance in any career. You MUST know how to make a fake smile convincing.

  • Racism Denial. Again, like the plastic people, no matter how ‘anti-discrimination’ you think you are, stay here long enough and you will become racist, whether you vocalize it or not. It’s going to make its way in, under your skin, and mold the way you perceive the world.

  • Communication Gaps. And now, I’m not talking about language here. I’m talking government-declared speed limits & other regulations. Example; Shk Zayed Rd has signs saying the speed limit is 100 kms/h, when in fact the radars don’t flash and the fucking police chief stated a month back in Gulf News, that the actual limit is 120kms/h within the city & 140kms/h when you approach Jebel Ali. Or the 160kms/h speed limit on the highway in Abu Dhabi, that was officially announced in all the leading News Papers, months ago, and yet all the signs still read 100kms/h. It’s only logic to see making the fucking rules clear would reduce road-rage, and traffic woes. Each person follows a different set of rules and all of us think we’re legally-right, so who is really to blame for the car driving 100kms/h in the fast lane that refuses to budge, or the guy flying by him from the right at 120kms/h, waving his fist in the air and cussing like a maniac?

  • Feigned Wasta. It’s a fucking joke. If you know the right people, you have it made here; no matter what you’re in to. But, if you think dropping a big name is going to influence my opinion, you’ve in for a rude-awakening. Fact; those who have wasta, those who know the right fucking people, don’t vocalize it. Most dogs will bite without barking, and most dogs who bark are too intimidated to actually bite. The number of people I’ve come across here, with this undesirably loathsome trait is astonishing!

  • Identity Envy & The Superior Nationalities. I met a guy once, who convinced me and a local friend of mine that he was Hamid Al-Falasi, the same family as this local friend. He even introduced himself to a police patrol as Hamid, when they questioned us all for being out so late. It turned out he was an Indian with a severe personality complex. The office he claimed to have in Bur Dubai, was actually his house; where he lived with his fully Indian mother & step father. When you ask a Palestinian, who has obtained a UAE passport where he’s from, he’ll tell you he’s an Emirati. When you ask an Indian, Arab, or non-Canadian who has obtained a Canadian passport, where he’s from he’ll tell you he’s Canadian. The question “Where are you from?” is not the same as the question, “What passport do you carry?” I just can not comprehend the obtuse lack of patriotism and self-respect so many people here have.

With all of the gripes and bitches, you know what bothers me the most? It’s the general hygiene of people here. One too many times I’ve turned my head in traffic only to see the guy next to me digging in his nose, or opening his car door to spit. I’ve entered too many elevators that absolutely reek of body odors so over-whelming I’ve almost vomited on numerous occasions. I’ve seen too many women use public toilets and leave without washing their nasty hands. And too many women in this country, who obviously spend hours painting their faces, walk around with visibly un-washed, oily hair. Just last week, I saw a girl I’d assume to be around eight years old, pissing in the parking lot with her mother standing by, only 3 fucking steps from the mall entrance; if you can make it that far you should be able to wait another minute; or as a mother you should make your kids go before you leave the damn house. And finally, and this one tops the cake, I’ve come across a public bathroom in Citicenter Deira, smeared in so much menstrual blood, you’d think a bloody massacre took place inside.

There a hundred and ten things any person can find to bitch about. If you’re going to do it, at least think of something new to bitch about.


Blogger samuraisam said...

I in general agree with you, I’ve been planning / thinking up a long winded posting about expat whining in general.

To add to the superficial ness of everyone is the latest Robbie Williams bitchfest. People willing to spend 2600 dirhams on 2 tickets for some shitty not-once-in-a-lifetime-let-alone-once-in-a-day event, they call up that 7days/radio 2 show and bitch and moan about it, meanwhile some poor sub continental guy calls in complaining about the increase in price of a photocopy at some government department from 1 dhs a photocopy to 2 dhs.
A complete contrast from rich to poor.

It's been all hunky-dory giving expats the image that their opinion matters when at the end of the day, as that transport authority man Mattar Al Tayer said, it doesn’t count for anything. Expats have been bitching and moaning via letters-to-the-editor for just about al of freaking eternity, not much has changed.
Once they get more people actually wanting to live in the UAE they’re going to have to (yeah, dreaming) give them more say.

5:40 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

I don't know if it's the bitching that bothers me as much as the substance of the rants themselves. All of it has been said before... Give me something new to think about please!

Gulf News today had four or five letters commenting on what a disgrace visa theft from passport authorities in India is. I UNDERSTOOD with the first letter! There's NOTHING else ANYONE inthe whole UAE had to say that would have better filled that space on the "Letter to the Editor" page?

6:39 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger archer14 said...

You've got it wrong tainted female. There are undoubtedly hundreds of letters they receive every day. The problem is that they choose ones with similar 'themes'. The point is that it's not quantity that matters, its quality. Gulf news has been steadily deteriorating from a long time. With the exception of some editors such as Nicholas Coates, some such as Vanaja Rao write total crap every week. They have no themes to discuss when some obvious themes are staring at them right in the face.
It's pretty harsh to talk about expat whining. They are after all whining about some basic amenities, which most of us take for granted. The amount of pressure that passes down the 'business chain' is unbearable. Even suicide rates have peaked. Gulf News has been highlighting issues well, but never get to underscoring the point, which is where the crux of the article lies. They've even gone to the point of a one page letters to editor orgy on a single topic, which is committing hara-kiri from any newspaper standards. Yet who's complaining?

And lest you forget, this country is a few square miles by a few square miles. The population is less than 4 million. And more than half read Khaleej Times (even though their office subscribes GN for the 'Appointments') because they want to get away from this messy life here. It is indeed messy when embassy officials camp in hotels.

7:42 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger archer14 said...

forgot to add, I've started a new blog here I hope to cover something on this topic soon.

7:44 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...


I believe the suicide numbers among Indian Expats has increased, and not necessarily other expats. The reasons for this have to do with working conditions, debts & financial demands from family back home, if my research was correct. The demands from back home, being the highest stressor. However, I believe that there are a number of other things that attribute to this as well, including the racial discrimination, etc.

The point I was making here is the substance of the complaints is getting nauseatingly repetitive, to the point where I don’t want to read it anymore and I’m sure many others feel the same way.

I know the problem lies with the editors and what they choose to print; I think I made that clear when I sarcastically asked whether there was NOTHING else ANYONE in the entire UAE had to say.

Just out of curiosity, how can an opinion be wrong archer?

8:29 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

Well.I must say...locals are more tired of hearing the complaints.
What people keep on forgetting is the fact that the UAE is a NEW country...still developing..while I agree with you Tainted on how the priorities here can be irrational..(when the health system lacks big time)..but I believe with time things will change..me being in the health system...I kno the constant debate and seen locals try and try...but it will take time..I think its unfair to compare us to other countries in all aspects...
For us who have faith in our country and not loose hope and commitment to continue to better it..we see it differently...
And Sam...when the locals have more to say...then it will be time for "more people" (expats) have to say.

9:24 PM, March 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes we have many sickening things here in the UAE, every country has things that piss off the people u know, it's not only here..

there are so many nationalities here.. most of them are just poor un educated labours, what do u expect to see?

maybe it's the people you've met who didnt really give u a good impression..

we nationals are minors in the country and are striving so hard to change things, & im sure that it all needs time....

Oh n Gulf News! i know ppl who worked there for over 12 years and are sick & regretting every second they spent there, the word "racism" was brought up in gulf news!

10:18 AM, March 27, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

I think it's wonderful that you nationals are finally speaking up for what's rightfully yours.

Thank you for leaving your thoughts...

6:24 PM, March 27, 2006  

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