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14 August, 2004

Dishdash dating dilemmas

"The thing is, they're like Martians, just dropped suddenly into the middle of an alien world. Except it's actually their planet, and we're the aliens."

A discussion with Lola LebCan about the dishdash dating scene, and specifically Hamid's romantic crisis. Her view from both the Arab-Muslim and Western-Lapsed perspectives is quite simple:

"The girl is both a bitch and a whore."

The problem for local men is that they are launched, quite suddenly, into the multicultural multisexual metropolis of Dubai, after 21 years of stricty segregated education without even a copy of Loaded to help them on the way. With the gradual realisation is dawning that paleface Western lady does not necessarily equal whore, their confusion is great. It is further complicated by the presence of modern Arab ladies, specifically Beirut Princess/Shakira hos poured into slutty clothes, acting far more like hookers than their demure European counterparts.

What is the average young dishdash to do? Those like Hamid don't want a traditional local girl, but someone "more modern". The problem is that every western woman is the equivalent of Mrs Robinson in comparitive experience, whereas "purer" ladies such as Hamid's money-grubbing cocktease paramour are often spoilt little girls.

Lola is playing a new dating game herself. When asked out, invited somewhere or generally propositioned she rolls a special set of dice: with Yes on every side. The result so far is a trail of married sleazebags and wimpy expats, plus ca change.

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