Shakespeare with an Arabic Accent, a short post

I’ll keep this short. Some people have written me that I seemed to have stopped posting stuff. I took a few days off, OK. Why? Well, maybe I am getting used to life here and find less to poke fun at. I really am having a great time. The people are warm, and the weather warmer.

Shakespeare you ask?  Yes by golly by jove. The AUS Dramatic Arts department did A Mid-Summer’s Night Dream over the weekend. One of Mary Ann’s co-workers husband is head of the department, so we decided to go. All the Student actors were either middle-eastern or Indian, with the attendant accents  . Combine that with Shakespearean English and you have an interesting communication hurdle. I have never been a fan or student of the Bard, so I had a tough time following the story. I did enjoy the fairy Puck as she zoomed across the stage on roller blades, but that is what kept me awake the 20% of time I was not sleeping.  All in all it was well done.

The night before we went out to dinner with Librarians from all over the UAE. Wake up! I’m not done. It was at a fancy hotel in Dubai. It was “Latin Night”. Not a Taco in sight, not a burrito to be had. The live music was provided by a band from Africa in Dashikis. After listening to a dozen or so top forty easy listening tunes (none of them Latin) I decided to make a request. It was, remember, Latin Night, so I requested Guantanamero. AMAZING! They played maybe the best version of Gitmonero I have ever heard. But that was it for Latin Night.

Some weird things….

American Express will not allow a person to pay their bill from any middle eastern bank. Oh sure, you can charge to it, but pay direct? No. Not even if you walk into the Amex office in Dubai with cash in hand can you pay it from here. Nope. So, you have to transfer $ to an American bank, then pay the bill from there. I do not even want to know why.

ATMS are everywhere. Like any where else, they are affiliated with certain banks. I walked up to one, in a mall and put the card in. The machine spit it back out. Invalid.  I looked at the sponsoring bank…National Bank of Iran. OK fuck you too.

As I said in a previous post, there is no such thing as street addresses here. For mail, everyone uses P.O. boxes. Great. But this morning I needed to find a watch repair shop. They have yellow pages here, wonderful. Looked under watch repair, there was one in the Emirate I am currently in, wonderful. Address? A P.O. Box  “lottafriggengood, mumble mumble mumble” So I called them. It took a half hour to explain that I wanted to find their office, or store, physically. Without street addresses, and with street names being arbitrary or not pronounce-able to westerners and Pakistanis alike, everyone uses landmarks to tell you where they are. This guy had the nerve, the gall, to tell me he was near “the mosque”. You cannot swing a dead camel in this country without hitting a mosque. So I asked him for another landmark.  I think I have it now. I am about to get into a cab with a Pakistani Driver, (they are ALL Pakistanis)  and try to find it.

OK, so not sio short, tanks for reading and tell a friend!

About forrestwalker

An expat living overseas, traveling with my wife extensively and sharing the experiences with you!.

Posted on April 25, 2010, in UAE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Love your posts. Miss you both.
    fyi; to pay bills and such in the states or just to listen to your favorite US radio stations. I use http://www.hotspotshield.com

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