Here I am dressed as the Batman returns ready to raid home. What can I say about this God forsaken country, except that do not, for even a split second buy their modern tourist impressions. This society is far from accepting, believe me. While wearing a knee length dress might be acceptable by the law, the people will hardly, if ever digest the look of it.
I feel more at ease once I put this heavy black cloak on, except obviously now everyone is talking to me in Arabic and taxi drivers won’t answer my questions out of fear. Not to mention nobody assumes I am a college student anymore, so the grand treatment (something I absolutely detest) is elevated.
The theme of slavery is quite predominant here. I am sitting right outside a glass capsule with a number of men locked in it. On further observance I have discovered that it is a designated smoking area. You wanna smoke? Sure, lock yourself in this 8 x 8 glass chamber and enjoy the second hand smoke of your peers while you are at it!
The people deserve to be topics of a thesis altogether. Food has to make it to the internet, blackberry messengers and Facebook posts before it ever makes it in to your mouth. If you also happen to have a local host, they will automatically assume you are loaded with some superb purchasing power because the currency in your wallet has a photo of Benjamin Franklin on it. Substandard c grade things being sold in grand places are valued more than anything that does not come with a brand name. Everybody backbites about every body else. Friends are actually just enemies in disguise and of course the word “hospitable” was mis printed with “ignorance” in the local dictionary.
Don’t even think of wearing that tight silk dress if you are willing to eat anything of substance here. The authentic food is on the streets, made by workers who stand outside in the heat day in and day out, all sweaty with misery. You hardly want to show up there with your perfectly shaved legs and fresh showered self. Driving is a nightmare. People don’t seem to know that indicators exist. Lanes are super narrow and Taxi drivers are super aggressive. There are lane markers that extend beyond the intersection, so if you happen to be turning on a four way intersection where four four-laned roades meet, expect to see a grand flower casted out of doted white lines in the dead center. It’s just fucking hilarious.
What else should I say? The hotels are super nice. $60 buys you a room better than the cheapest one in Marriott back home. Theres a TV, fridge, a line in the shower to dry your clothes, electronic temperature control for your shower water, shampoo and body wash dispensers, hand wash dispensers, toothpaste dispensers, free late checkout, free laundry service, free parking, free wifi, free laptops available on request, free water bottles and coffee setups, access to a pool, gym, sauna, basketball court. AND there is a Starbucks/Costa/Tim Hortons in the check-in lobby. I don’t think a hotel can get any better than that. Also, your electricity is activated by your key card. So, when you take it out of it’s designated place, your electricity will turn OFF. Isn’t that fucking awesome? I was very impressed =)!!
But then again if you plan to stay four days straight in a hotel, you might be spared of the horror that exists outside. The only thing about this country that is enjoyable is what it has naturally. The beach and the desert. Ironically, the best things here are what come for free :)!
If you hated it the first time, odds are you will hate it again. If you want my advice, assimilate in to the society with the black cloak and spend some time alone avoiding the fake-ness. Happy Travels!