Saturday, February 21, 2009

Letter to Kate 20-2-09

Dear Kate,

Dubai. Still wrapping my head around your living there. Such another world, and yet I imagine the constants are true — children go to school (!), families try to meet for dinner, light switches turn on and off, people Google.

I'm imagining the mood there has to be better than in London. Certainly better than in New York. It's as if the layer of cushion that everyone had wrapped themselves in after the election, following Obama's inauguration, has finally worn. New York has never been known as the city of warmth and joy — but it feels even darker still. The economic reality has finally kicked in, and as stores shutter, as the neighbor loses her job, people are biting at each other. I'm just waiting for the 'better you than me' attitude to appear. I'm afraid it actually will.

I see it so keenly in the moms — it's quiet, but there. Ice-skating outings with young girls and their mothers, now means a brown-bag lunch instead of a bistro after for hot chocolates and white wine. Ballet classes give way to sewing courses: Turn your old jeans into a skirt! Worst? Mothers who have financial stresses get left out of plans by social dis-ease. ("We just didn't want her to feel badly and tell us she can't afford it.")

One hilarious aspect is the shopping on the down low that's taken over the upper crust. One fine creature reportedly arranged for Hermes to send her packages in plain brown bags — so keenly concerned that the classic orange wrappings might seem conspicuous. That story gets circulated with derision. You could say there is very little empathy for those who have been "Madoff-ed."

Curious how this is playing out in Dubai – or are you insulated from it all? Has it already passed? Or is such a unique place it's just not applicable? Can't wait to hear about mothers there – and your new home.

xo Lauren

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hear from a friend who has lived many years in Dubai that it is biting there too. Too much building, too much bling - the crash will be delayed but there is no escape. Friend is leaving - for Malaysia! Does she know something we don't?