Sunday, May 11, 2008
ok, i've lost the sense of my speech.
in my previous post i was saying that i've gone to dubai last friday (shopping... don't forget i'm a woman!).
then, when it was time to come back from Deira City Centre (after 1h30m queueing for taxi...) and heading for the bus station in Bur Dubai, i was pretty afraid of the huge mass of people going back to abu dhabi i would find at the bus station. it was almost 10 p.m. already and i didn't want to wait for hours, lose the last bus and be forced to take an engaged taxi paying AED 200.
but in the bus station a miracle happened: there was a queue at the abu dhabi ticket window probably long 1 kilometre, i was wandering around looking for the place i could wait and suddenly a man came to me and asked me where i had to go... "Abu Dhabi? That side!" and, as a magic, he showed me the "Ladies Line"! so, here it is: on the buses there are ladies seats on the front, so women are not forced to sit close to men that they don't know (yes baby, it's called "segregated society"!), and to buy tickets there are special queues for ladies only (faster cause usually there are not so many women taking the bus...) so women are not forced to be in the line with men they are not related to. wonderful! i got my ticket in 1m30seconds and went to the bus stop. also there there were hundreds of men queueing, but the same guy came again close to me and my fellow females and told us to stay in the front cause we were going to take the bus first. so, some men rightly protested (i swear i would mind the queue for the ticket, but not for the bus): they were waiting since longer, so for me it was their right to enter first. but the guy of the bus station was not of my same opinion so he called another guy with a stick and he started beating these poor men like animals to make them shrink from the bus. after they secured all the women were sitting inside the bus and no men could sit near them, they allowed the poor men enter the bus and take their seats in the back.
i remember in my studies at the university i've read something about human rights... wonder! maybe the books i've used for my studies were soooo obsolete.
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.