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Things are so bad that a number of laborers are willing to throw themselves in front of cars because their death would bring their family affluence in the form of diya, blood money paid to the victim’s family as mandated by the government. Why not just drive out to Ajman where it’s a free-for-all and load up the SUV? Not only do you have to get your boss’s approval to obtain a liquor license, but you must also get the company’s approval to rent property, have a telephone, or get satellite TV. Back to the craziness on the roads: If I see one more kid standing up and waving to me out the back window while flying down the road at 160 kph…whatever happened to seatbelts? Now the government says Friday and Saturday are the weekend, but some people only take off Friday, others still take a half day on Thursday, but some might just take a half day on Saturday instead. The movie channels play movies that are old and outdated.

There are so many things wrong with this place that I have decided to compile a list, a must read if you are considering a potential move to Dubai. There is no standard address system making mail-to-the door delivery impossible. The taxi driver, here for only two days, and having learned English from old Beatles albums has no clue where your house is.

He won’t tell you that of course, he’ll just keep calling and saying, “Okay, okay. The government blocks all web sites that it deems “offensive” to the “religious, moral, and cultural values” of the UAE.

They live crammed in portables with tons of others, in highly unsanitary conditions. I read the letters to the editor page of the paper and people say to those who complain about the cost of living rising here, “Well, it’s cheaper than your home country or you wouldn’t be here.” The only thing cheaper here is labor. Yet the men’s clothing makes absolute sense: white, airy, and nothing underneath but their skivvies. It’s beyond creepy and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. I’m stared at angrily by female prostitutes who think I am running in on their territory by having a few drinks with my husband at the bar. Pay the fee and the additional 30% tax on every purchase and you may drink at home.

The kicker: they are building hotels that cost more to stay in for one night than they will make in an entire year. Yes, you can have a maid – but a bag of washed lettuce will cost you almost $10. Then again, you can just pick up a few bottles in the airport duty free on your way in to the country, but two is the max. Let me get this straight: the weekend used to be Thursday and Friday, but no one took off all of Thursday, just a half day really.

Living in Dubai is not wonderful and glamorous, as many would have you believe.

Forget about what you’ve read, seen, and heard; those shiny buildings and manmade islands are all just smoke and mirrors.

I guess the government also takes offense to people inexpensively contacting their families back home.

You’re welcome to call using the analog service provided by the government-owned telephone monopoly, but it will cost you a whole lot more. This is the equivalent of pointing a hairdryer on full blast directly at your face. In my opinion, human beings were not meant to live in such a place.

I have an idea: let’s all move someplace where it’s not 120 degrees outside. This country prides itself so much on its glitz and glamour that it put a picture of its 7-star hotel on the license plate.

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