Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: April 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Ironic...

I got this in an email the other day from ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center) for an upcoming event in the UAE capitol city.

Bring the Kids!

 Geez, I guess I could have saved all the trouble and expense of actually moving to Las Vegas and experienced "Sin City" in my old stomping grounds of Abu Dhabi.....sans the scantily clad dancing girls, booze, gambling, colorful language and debauchery of the original Rat Pack of course. Frank, Dean and Sammy, we miss you!

Its interesting that this show is featured as Las Vegas style entertainment doesn't seem congruous to the morality of this Islamic country and I'll wager the show is "Sanitized for Your Protection". However, the music from that era is good and if the performers can succeed in parroting the sound, banter and mannerisms of the original guys, it could be an entertaining night.

What's next for ADNEC.......The "Ladyboys of Bangkok" revue"???

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflections of Re-Entry

OK, I have bashed the UAE for some things such as internet censorship, Sharia Law, telecommunications monopoly, banking and labor abuses and being a "Plastic Banana" country. The place sucked me dry after awhile. Now it is time to reflect on my thoughts of my own country after being away for over 3 years.

First of all, the US is very expensive. Food and ordinary items that used to cost 2X+ what I remember. What used to be an in and out at a grocery store for $50 now cost more than $100. Not only that, there are bills in my mailbox everyday from people and organizations that want money. Setting up a new household over here costs an exhorbitant amount of money considering deposits, leases, auto registration, utilities, taxes, etc. Everyone has their hands out and wherever I leak, someone has a bucket.

Second, there are retail outlets everywhere for anything one could want or hope for, acres (or hectares) of strip malls that sell everything from hamburgers to massages to bankruptcy lawyers. It is quite overwhelming but convenient, maybe too convenient. After the financial bubble burst, there are a lot of broke folks here and the last thing they need are more temptations.

Crime in the US is an assumed risk but I consider that as the price to pay for a free society. It was safe in the UAE but I am one of the last ones that seem to refuse to trade security for freedom.

That being said, driving in the murderous motoring maelstrom on the UAE roads just might entail more risks than the US crime rate would. 

Although the US is not perfect, it is still home to me and theoretically I have a say in the operation of my governmental representatives. In Abu Dhabi, I was a guest that could thrown out on my head just for flipping the "bird" to someone. That type of  stress in addition to the "saving face" culture where nobody can seem to lose wore me down to where everyday seemed an excercise in frustration. I can finally call someone an ASSHOLE and not be arrested for committing a crime against the State..

Anyway, no place is perfect. I enjoyed living in Abu Dhabi for awhile but it was not "home".I knew I had to come back to America someday. I was only a guest that could be evicted at anytime for any reason.

I am now settled in Las Vegas, Nevada, arguably one of the most exciting cities in the world and diametrically opposite of the faux venues in the UAE. Gambling, alcohol and debauchery are openly encouraged in "Sin City." and folks seem just as happy here as they are in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I guess that is because gambling, alcohol and prostitution are equally available in both places but those activities are not advertised as much in the UAE..

Even though I am living back in the US for now, I will continue this blog as people are curious and interested in working in the sandpit. I will continue to give advice to those wannabes. I have lived there and have lots of hints and advice.

I am building a new blog, to chronicle the good and the bad of the world's "Sin City". It will be up and running in a couple of weeks.

Thanks to the friends I met overseas. I appreciate you as the adventurers you all are. It takes big balls to do what we did and kudos to those who still live and thrive over in the Sandpit. I am glad I did it but I wouldn't do it again. Best Regards to my buddies and readers I left behind and I hope our paths will cross again. I will never forget you all!