Sunday, May 11, 2008
Emirates Life... simply
on friday i've been to dubai (shopping... don't forget i'm a woman!) and, as usual, i've been amazed/confused/disappointed/surprised/astonished/fed up by this city: every time that i go there i promise to myself that i'll not go again and then... you know, it's called coherence!
well, as everyone knows without having been there, dubai is a kind of open construction site, everything is under construction, under refurbishment, under demolition, under renovation, under under under, brief, skyscrapers of the strangest shapes, babel towers, kilometre-lenght towers, metro stations, bus stations, metro line, malls, submarine hotels, artificial archipels, up-in-the-sky-villas, revolving flats, concrete, steel, tar, bricks, marbles, and above all this feeling of total incompleteness.
and behind all those sparkles, behind the glitter of the new glamourous destination of the world, construction workers: Indians, Pakistani, Afghans, Bengali, Srilankan, Nepalese working 10 or 12 hours per day, under the burning sun (now the temperature is already around 45 Celsius degrees, with a rate of humidity equal to a choking and killing silk ropes of the Sikh described in Emilio Salgari's I Misteri della Giungla Nera), with few breaks, collected in a stinky bus without air conditiong (but a antique fan) which will drop them in the rooms where they live, sometimes 10 people in one room making shifts for sleeping. or sometimes they don't have a room and they just live in the street, with cardboard as a blanket, hidden in some side alleys or in the halls of old buildings ready to be replaced by the newest, biggest, tallest, brightest, most expensive something in the city of appearence. and the reason for them to undergo such kind of life (in the city which wants to set new standards of luxurious lifestyle in the world) is saving most of their salaries and send it home, in their countries hit by poverty, unemployment, natural disasters, civil wars, to their families torn by the lak of their men, their breadwinners. their salaries... 350 dirhams per month (about 60 euros). and they save. they save like crazy to give their families a better perspective. Nepalese are the ones who accept any kind of job: 1 dirhams is equal to around 22 Nepalese rupee, so they are the most exploited and rightless, they are the ones putting manure to make the flowers growing in the flower beds surrounding all the streets of this desert called a federation of emirates.
i've been to Oman last summer: everything is different there. there are rules. and regulations. immigrants and locals, but they do the same jobs. people is not discriminated according to their nationality. Omanis work as taxi drivers, shop assistants, managers, cooks, whatever they find. something that is common and logical for me as an Italian (EQUALITY), grew up in a country where Italians are teachers, managers, employees, taxi drivers, street sweeper and garbage collector (and everything else), has no point to exist here.