Bacon in Dubai
18 October 2016

Bacon in Dubai

We got off the ferry we had boarded in Bandar Abbas (Iran) 18 hours earlier and we raced to the office of our friend from Abruzzo who hosted us in Dubai.
We showed up dirty, sweaty and tired in the luxury building where he works. We parked out bikes in front of the entrance and took pictures while eating a falafel from an oil-soaked paper bag, proudly provided by the Indian fast-food where we stopped for lunch.
In a word, we broke all the rules of the building in fortyfive seconds, as the Bangladeshi security agent kindly pointed out.
I entered the building without touching the revolving door, I didn’t want to get it dirty.
“Mr. Federico, please.”
The receptionist observed me from head to toe, I was actually in bad conditions, but still – deep down – Caucasian, and she eventually decided to call Mr. Federico instead of the security.
Fede came down, clean and fresh from his office.
“Welcome!”
We hugged him, filthy as we were, and offered him a falafel (it was a huge bag).
Then something changed.
In Dubai, the explorer in us died temporarily and left room for our latent globalized Westerner.
During those days, the weird and -somehow- reassuring feeling of living in a surreal future creeped in our heads transported by the sweet flavour of good food, and was consolidated by the temperature of the air conditioning.
“Espresso, please.”
“Yes Sir.”
We observed the city from the bubbles of a jacuzzi at the 35th floor of the building where we were being hosted, with a view on an image of a crazy but well-made experiment.
Dubai, opposed to the prohibitionist ideological rigour experimented recently in Iran, courts and seduces Westerners with the power of unpunishedly (or almost so) enjoying some Islamic prohibitions.
And so, with the atmosphere of a +18 section in a videorent from the ‘90s, you can enter a bunker in the supermarket and find pork meat.
You can be a blonde woman with a bikini at the beach.
You can have a drink, and feel kind of like a smoker in a plane toilet.
“Cash or credit card?”
“15 Dollars for a beer?!”
It’s expensive to be a Westerner in Dubai.
Breakfast with cappuccino and sbrisolona cake with Nutella, carbonara and nonna’s ragù (thank you, Fede, for sharing the nonna at the time of need).
We didn’t love Dubai, we just fell into a comfortable vortex of compensation against the more than 2000 km of Iranian strictness.
After a week of rest and idleness, we left without washing our teeth to preserve the good taste of that last breakfast for still a few hours.
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