And when you all thought “Yesss! No more Desert Dueler emails!”..
Here it is again! The New and Improved version 3.0 of the “Desert Bunny” comes to you right from the land of melted camels..
For those of who who are going “Huhhh???” at this moment in time, this is Part III of a yearly email that I send to all my friends in an attempt to 1) keep in touch, 2) keep you posted on what is going on, 3) keep the level of sarcasm and cynicism in this world at an acceptable high, and 4) keep you wondering why some people refuse to grow up! 🙂
For the rest who are familiar with this concept, I apologize for disappearing for a year now. I am still with IBM, still in Qatar, and I basically lost half of my weight! So next time you see me, you might not! 😉 Talk about a candle in the desert!
Actually I am amazed at the idea that some people actually printed my previous emails and showed them to their parents or friends, or forwarded them.. What’s wrong with you? These are EVIL emails! 🙂
Well, here goes nothing. This is my usual compilation of random Desert thoughts to hopefully brighten your mood..
– Epiphanies Epiphanies! I am amazed at how much living in the Arabian Gulf can teach you.. You would be surprised at how rich this literally EMPTY place is! Let’s start with money.. You probably know that the Gulf is rich in petroleum and natural gas. If you didn’t, you’re either too young, too busy, too high or too rich yourself! Let’s discuss money a bit more..
– Hear this.. The culture is so drenched with the concept of wealth, that people here assume that they can buy anything! Did you know that, if you are a cute lady.. uhm.. forget cute.. a LADY jogging on the sidewalk, a car could cruise by and a guy inside would flash a packet of cash at you, with a nice proud smile to go with it? What a nice guy, you would think! He must be so nice! Of course, who can resist a smiling gold mine (with a missing tooth)?
ADVICE: take your clothes off immediately and jump in the car with him! He’s probably as sophisticated and intellectually advanced as his bank account balance!
– Exhibitionism is a big thing, and I ain’t talkin about Freud! If I have money, you HAVE to know I do! You have no choice! How dare you think of me as a normal guy? Don’t you see my 3 billion carat diamond and platinum hand-made hand-crafted one-in-the-world fountain pen proudly hanging in-your-face on my front shirt pocket? What about my disco-light super-shiny diamond-enriched made-especially-for-me Swiss gold watch with my name engraved on it, and a sign dangling from it which says: “the Designer of this watched died trying to make it perfect”? Come on! Are you nuts? Couldn’t you see how prominent my custom wheeled chrome dipped gold-launching Lexus LX4703028631z 4×4 bus-shaped rocket car is? Ignore my dirty toes and ghetto slippers, those mean nothing.. Look up here.. HERE.. not down there..
ADVICE: Respect cash. Cash owns you. You will be assimilated. There is no way out. Surrender to my wealth.
– Mystery.. that’s a word to associate with wealth and power.. It’s quite customary to see a very (VERY) expensive car cruising by, turning heads.. but with 100% tinted glass all around. What cosmicly mysterious James Bond cognitive process did the owner go through when he chose this? “I want to show everyone my car, but they can’t know who I am!”? What is the point? To show the world that Mercedes AMG can build an awesome car? But THEN.. you come to know the truth: there is POWER in the SURPRISE APPEARANCE! Yes! You have to admit, when that amazing car parks somewhere and the door opens, your heart starts beating, your palms get sweaty.. You are dying to know who this prince is that will appear from behind the mysterious fog.. And then THERE HE IS! His amazing grace appears! He is.. He is.. Soo.. Uhm.. short?! I can’t remember the rest, I fainted then..
ADVICE: Act very astonished and praise the mysterious King.
– More money stuph.. And this is a true story (yep, I gotta make a movie one day!). Say your whole culture revolves around your worth being so associated to your wealth.. What would you do if your credit card was declined at a very crowded expensive store? When everyone is watching the poor little clerk tell you “Sorry Sir, this credit card is maxed out, do you have another one?” (basically, she should’ve said: do you have another one, or is this diamond pen fake?).. Well here’s the true part of the story: that man ended up making the whole line wait for 10 minutes while the clerk had to retry the same credit card 20 times since “Dunt tel mi idz magzed aout, zis gredet gard haz unlemeted muney inzide it, trei it egennnnn in yor bad macheen”.
ADVICE: Shake your head and tell the guy “It’s amazing how these machines always break with the richest people”
– More cash bits.. You go to buy a car.. You know which one you want, you research it, you find the right one, you negotiate the price, you agree with the seller.. Fine.. Now why in hell would you take 3 times as much cash as the agreed price when you go pay? And you just take the whole $60,000 out of your pocket, then slowly count $18,300 from them and hand them to the seller? Or do you just walk around with $60k usually in your pocket, just in case that perfect BMW comes along?
ADVICE: Ask the guy if he would like to buy a $41,700 boat, since he has the extra change!
– OK enough about money.. you got the point! Oh no, wait a sec, just one more.. 🙂 I don’t even think I can explain this one well, so I’ll just throw it out there for you to decypher. Starbuck’s is a coffee shop for normal people, surrounded by a parking lot which doubles as a car show and cruising ground for the elite. People actually drive through the parking lot itself in a circle around Starbuck’s!! Uhm.. whatever..
ADVICE: Uhm.. Go to Cafe Najjar instead (right Rania?!)
– Let’s see.. how about a little on relationships and dating in the Gulf. Yeahhh, that should trigger some controversy 😉 I apologize in advance for my Gulf friends who are reading this.. Hey come on, you know I am kidding, right? ** group screams NO!! in the background **.. OK, then to distract you, tell me first.. Why do men wear white and women wear black? Is it a chess game? Or just simply to distinguish them from each other 🙂 just kidding! Well, who got to pick their color first? And was it in the summer? 😉
ADVICE: Don’t say what I just said in public! HEY.. WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? I KNOW PEOPLE WITH CASH, YOU KNOW!
– Relationships.. OK.. This hooks up into the Mystery part, but there is a whole culture and subtle details associated with the common dating pattern here. It goes like this: the single woman would be in a supermarket, usually with her best friend, standing at the make-up section and staring at 1 product for enough time to be noticed. Then the Vulture (the man) would land, and smoothly stand next to her, not looking at her of course, then pick up his own mobile. The mobile would then magically dial his best friend’s number, and he would skip the hello part and introduction and jump right into “hey, my mobile number is 588-6676, did you hear me correctly? my mobile number is 588-6676”. Recognizing this known mating call, the lady checks the guy out, and if she likes him, she memorizes the number he shouted out loud while pretending to talk to his best friend on the phone. She then retreats to her kingdom and calls him later for a midnight chat, then secret rendez-vous, then a cruise in his tinted rocket launcher on wheels.
ADVICE: Don’t do it unless your father knows someone who knows someone who has cash and drives a tinted window car.
– Men here want to date ALL the women. “Hi, I am single and I can take you out this weekend and buy you anything you want”.. “But aren’t you my sister’s husband?”.. “Uhm.. oh yeah, sorry..” ** Drives to the next girl on the sidewalk ** “Hi..”
– Women want to pretend they never date coz that’s a bad bad thiiiing (in a San Francisco accent). “I am sorry, I can’t go out with you because I have to pray then read a bit, then I have to go with my cousin to the mall like every weekend”.. “But aren’t you the same girl that was dancing on the table last weekend at the Admiral’s?”.. “Uhm.. oh yeah, sorry..” ** Moves to the next car with a guy holding cash ** “Hi..”
– The government here taboos the concept of pre-marital relationships. It’s a general known part of the culture, but of course people do it all the time and hide it. The nice thing is that the same government created a little “phone chatting” network where you can search for people from your mobile phone, based on your preferences, and when you find them, you can send them text messages directly to their phone, initiating a conversation and simplifying the dating scene! Talk about forbidding something and then facilitating it?! ADVICE: When the government does something wrong, just write a complaint and send it to Santa Claus and he’ll take care of it.
– Finally, a word of ADVICE. When you are on a Qatar Airways flight, skip the “lines” and just ask the cabin crew for her number. They’ve heard it all, and I mean ALL! From “I want to marry you” to “Where are you from? Morocco? Wow! I always wanted to go there!” to “You are the most beautiful woman in the galaxy” to “Tea or Coffe? How about you? Ha Ha Ha” to “Where is the bathroom for Pakistanis who are British Passport holders” to “I just don’t know what to do with this big bag of money I have here, could you stow it for me?”.. And then there’s that guy who drove his car through the plane, honked, and flashed his cash! 🙂
Cheers! And don’t forget to look me up when you cruise around the world to catch some boiling sand. I’ll be the one with the BMW, diamond pen, Oyster Perpetual Platinum Rolex and 3 mobile phones.. “Did you hear me? My mobile number is XXXXXXX. It’s XXXXXXXX. Are you writing this down?”
Write back, tell me your news.. NOW!
Firo the Desert Bunny