Skip to main content

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

One of the peculiarities of living in Dubai is that you eventually figure out that 99% of the people residing here are somewhat liberal with the truth. In fact, many people will happily and blatantly lie to your face. They will try to stick to their story like superglue, even when faced with the sort of evidence that any sane and reasonable person would be forced to accept and thus eat their words. So, you know they're lying, they know they're lying, the rest of the world probably knows they're lying... and yet they will persist until they turn blue in the face and gulp their last breath (as you give in to temptation and merrily throttle them ... in your imagination at least).

The secret is to refuse to give up and hang in there, insisting that you are right and they are wrong, preferably in a loud voice. This behaviour is all a pointless little game you see, a bit of a pissing match, with the winner being the one who insists that they are right the longest. There is little use for such behaviour, except possibly for the fact that it adds a bit of excitement to a monotonous day. I guess.

One Example (of many)
Starbucks, yesterday. Conversation between me and the 'barista' (yes, I agree, a ridiculous title):
"Excuse me but I ordered a Mocha Frappucino. This doesn't taste like a Mocha Frappucino."
"Yes. Is a Mocha Frappucino."
"Err. No. It really isn't."
"Yes. Is Mocha."
"No. It. Isn't."
"Yes. Mocha."
"(Deep sigh). No. It isn't. I have probably consumed more Mocha Frappucinos in the past year than you have made in your entire life. Which undoubtably makes me an expert when it comes to Mocha Frappucinos. So when I tell you this is not a Mocha Frappucino, I assure you, it is NOT a Mocha Frappucino."
"Please tell me what this drink is."
"Is Frappucino."
"Yes, but is it a MOCHA Frappucino?"
Silence. Barista looks at toes. Then says, "Ok. Is not Mocha. Mocha mix finish yesterday."
"So what is it?"
"Is same-same."
"Obviously not. What is it?"
"Same-same. Is coffee."
"Do you actually know what's in a Mocha Frappucino?"
Triumphant smirk. "Yes, coffee and espresso shot. I tell you, same-same."
Sigh. "No, Mocha is chocolate and coffee. No espresso shot. NOT same-same at all."
Shrug. "OK. No mocha. You have coffee."
Double sigh. "Can I have my money back, please?"

Obviously this is an especially trivial example. But imagine this multiplied across the service industry. Imagine this translated to 99% of the repairmen who come to your house to fix a range of problems, from your air conditioning to your broken cooker to your rotten-egg drains. Your household help. Your local taxi firm. Your dry cleaner. The list is endless.

It's enough to make a girl quite fed up. Now and then. At least, until you look out of the window at the sun shining and think, "Oh f*ck it. It could be a lot, lot worse."


sarah said…
I love "same-same". That has to be utterly maddening! You must take a LOT of deep breaths. Like walking yoga all the time...
Anonymous said…
So true.
Anonymous said…
It is a cultural thing. Saving face is all. Very important in a Muslim country, but difficult to take when brought up in a liberal (decadent) society. Don't argue, just accept and enjoy the sunshine. When in is much safer to blend in. Good Luck!
YLM said…
Same-same is genius. I have adopted this maddening expression with devious joy. It provides endless amusement.

Saving face is pants, in my opinion. Face up to the music, I say. The initial sting to the ego is less painful in the long run... especially when the alternative is being publically denounced and verbally whipped by mental mamas such as myself.

But actually, I do ignore it most of the time. Otherwise I would have an ulcer by new and many fewer hours in the day. I just save my ire for the truly trivial annoyances, such as being denied my beloved mocha frapp in Starbucks. Sigh. The really bad stuff I can, oddly, handle with aplomb. Like I said, mad.

Popular posts from this blog

Apologies for being incommunicado this week and hope none of you out there are too distraught not to be receiving the usual almost-daily MotV missives. The reason for the silence is that I'm up to my neck, metaphorically-speaking, in research papers for my first grad course assessment. This experience has made me realise how rigorously un-academic I am in my thinking. It has also illuminated how reliant I am on red wine in order to get through endless evenings typing furiously on my laptop, not to mention the fueling of increasingly colorful curses that I feel obliged to aim at the University's online library system which consistently refuses to spit out any of the journals I'm desperate for (I refuse to believe this is 100% due to my technical incompetence...)Oh well, if this is the price one has to pay in order to realize a long-cherished dream then it's not all that bad... No one ever said a mid-life career change would be easy. Wish me luck!

Recommended & the Mahiki dance-off

My GFs and I went to Mahiki last night, great fun as usual but made me feel a bit old; it seems that Thursday night is the playground of the just-past-pubescent. Oh well. Good tunes though, so whatever.In between taking over the dancefloor - the youngsters may have youth on their side but frankly that shrinks to insignificance in the face of two decades of clubbing experience - one of my GFs and I got into a conversation about why so many people are full of bull.It appears that many people we come across are content to live their lives in a superficial way, skimming the surface of what life has to offer and equating the ownership of stuff (cars, houses, boats, jewelry, designer clothes) with happiness. They converse in terms of status, strut their possessions as a measure of their own self-worth, take themselves far too seriously, are quick to judge others, easily annoyed, complain a lot about very little and their worries seem to far outweigh their joys. Personally, I think all that…


Following on from the realisation that my lungs are filthy and if I don't give up the smokes soon I face a life of wheezing at best, off I trotted to see the charming Dr T.

Dr T, who's charming by virtue of the fact that he's less jaded than the other doctors in the surgery (in other words, he treats patients as if they're human beings with a right to NHS services rather than annoying fraudsters trying to gain sympathy for imaginary illnesses) promptly put me on potentially habit-forming drugs to get me off the evil weed. Something doesn't feel quite right about this but since I'm so pathetically grateful to have a doctor who's willing to give me more than two seconds of his precious time, I have acquiesced to his demands.

Anyway, this wonder drug is called Champix and promises to have me merrily chucking my smokes in the bin in no time. Or it will if I can get past the possible side effects, the highlights being abnormal dreams, nausea, flatulence, snoring, …