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07 December, 2005

Danish diplomacy

A Scandinavian associate, Inge, recently attended her country's expat Christmas bash. She went with a large group of friends, many of whom were smokers. Seeing lots of children there, they deliberately chose a separate, empty table away from the youngsters, and lit up their cigarettes while waiting for two final friends to arrive.

Up comes a couple towards the empty slots: husband, small child, and heavily pregnant wife.

"We're very sorry but we've reserved these seats for our friends stuck in traffic," Inge tells them politely.

"Tough luck," comes the curt reply, and the hell-couple sit down.

After a few moments, the hell-wife starts a fake "coughing" performance. "You know, smoking is very bad for me in my condition," she announces, clearly expecting everyone to extinguish. Because she and her hell-husband have been so rude, no one does.

"Look," Inge suggests after some awkward moments pass. "There are many other spaces free. We really wanted to have all our friends together for an adults-only table - why don't you find a non-smoking table?"

At this, hell-husband goes off. He starts ranting and raving and shouting in anger at the dozen adults already sitting on the table. His performance is so loud and embarrassing that the Ambassador is called over to save the day.

"He was very diplomatic. He said to them - look, there are lots of double spaces free - and managed to move them away. Our friends arrived, and we all had a great night," Inge relates. The irony is that Inge and her friends aren't fag-monsters. "We would have happily stopped smoking if they had even attempted to be polite, And if they had been there first, none of us would have even lit up."

Smoking may be an unhealthy, unpleasant habit. But when smokers attempt to segregate themselves and show consideration - rare behaviour among most Dubaian fag-addicts - there's no point kicking them in the teeth.



Blogger BuJ said...

Inge should be commended.. although smoking is bad but since they have shown consideration towards others they deserve some respect.. it's a bit like Roadstar. True driving (in Dubai) is bad, but those that show consideration should deserve some respect, 750 Dhs and a sticker :)

07 December, 2005 03:20  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

The Ambassador came over ... he was very diplomatic.

It would have been a better story if the Ambassador had come over, shouted out a string of expletives, and smacked someone over the head with a chair.

07 December, 2005 03:49  
Blogger samuraisam said...

damn straight tim newman,
then like 20 policemen bust in, and it's a free for all.
the smokers extinguish their cigarettes on non-smokers and some other cool stuff happens.

in all seriousness though, it's unusual that smoking / non-smoking arguments are "extinguished" so peacefully, noting the bastard and bastardette involved (preggo and hell-man respectively).

07 December, 2005 06:17  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

...Then he got his Ferrero Rochers out, handed the box around and everyone was smiling and happy again.

07 December, 2005 08:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off the subject, but Feed Your Head's blog has been blocked after he posted a class A rant about Etisalat yesterday. Shame - it was a good one.

07 December, 2005 09:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually went to the Danish Christmas event at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and I didn't even notice this incident! Maybe it was because of the 150 annoying and noisy children constantly running around. I can't believe that these kids are allowed to behave like this. Maybe it was due to the fact that the parents weren't allowed to bring their maids with them this time.

07 December, 2005 09:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon @ 9.11
was about to post the same thing..

still we still have subjects such as scandinavian blonde inge and can talk about smoking and malls and traffic eh!?!?!?

07 December, 2005 09:43  
Blogger Unknown said...

Etisalat is a gone case..they think blocking blogs ( serve them good...loosers!


07 December, 2005 09:48  
Blogger Al Ain Taxi said...

It seems they're culling today. Watch your backs folks.

07 December, 2005 10:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me and my friends went through a similar incident at the Ibrahimi restaurant during Ramadhan.

We went there to break our fast and after a quick snack, my friends started smoking (I dont smoke). This family seated beside us did the same "coughing act" and soon enough the "pregnant" girl (she didn't look pregnant, I might add) threw a tantrum about how us and a few others there were smoking and how passive smoking was bad for her condition.

The management of the restaurant soon stepped in and pointed out to the lady that if she was so concerned, she should sit in the NON-SMOKING lounge! Go figure!

07 December, 2005 11:59  
Blogger CG said...

I think might have caused sorrydubai some misery.....took eatslit a long time to find it.

07 December, 2005 12:37  
Blogger CG said...

Buj.....where is my 750 and sticker? I want it now. It seems you are in authority here.

07 December, 2005 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a smoker and if I'm sitting with people I don't know, or even friends that don't smoke, I always ask if they would mind if I smoke.

If we're sitting in a no-smoking area, I will always happily go to the bar or find somewhere to have a ciggy.

I think it's rude to impose my smoke on others should they mind. However, if I'm sitting in a smoking zone and a non-smoker doesn't like it.

Tought tits!

Also, the censorship in this country show's how precious and immature the authorities are.

Grow up!

07 December, 2005 12:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more Sorrydubai.

Oh well, Sounds like the law has awoken.

I would be lying if I said I am not a little scared at the moment.

Never know what the punishment could be.

Oh well.

But I guess this just proves my point about our wonderful ISP.

Keep Feeding Your Head


07 December, 2005 14:40  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Feed Your Head - could you please email me? [my username here] at gmail.

I very much need to speak to you. Thanks ;)

07 December, 2005 14:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I've done my bit and registered a complaint with Etishite about the loss of Sorry Dubai.

Now I'm off to vote for Secret at the blog awards.

07 December, 2005 15:29  
Blogger MJ said...

I think they(the parents with the child) completely deserved what happened. If you don't respect people, you don't deserve to be respected. Just get over the fact that people are different and they choose to do whatever they want with themselves.

I don't smoke and if someone started smoking (in a non-smoking area) I just go and tell them and they usually leave or stop smoking. It just really gets on my nerves to see people smoking around children (in the play area in malls) or parents smoking around their children and if told anything they say 'they are MY children' yea, go read about passive smoking and then come and talk to me.

oh and about Etisalat, they should put in mind that they will not be the only telecommunication provider in the UAE for long.

07 December, 2005 19:33  
Blogger samuraisam said...

mj: but any other ISP's are going to be put under the directives of the TRA, which would impose the exact same guidelines upon them.

i'm sure once they're ready, the proxy will be disbanded, and when it does, will be out of order due to excessive bandwidth

07 December, 2005 19:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Sorry Dubai has been blocked. I'm not in Dubai and I can't see it either. It looks to me like he's just erased his blog from Blogspot.

08 December, 2005 01:19  
Blogger secretdubai said...

He erased it after the block.

08 December, 2005 01:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad move. That muddies the issue. For one thing, no one can see what he posted in order to determine precisely how silly the block was. For another, now there's nothing for them to unblock even if they wanted to. That alone gives them an excellent excuse.

08 December, 2005 03:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU KEN!!!!! I am "Inge" and actually we asked the couple if it would be possible to have just one single table without children - there were around 40 tables with families, no harm in having 1 single table for us singletons or couples without any children.......That was when the man got really angry and furious with us! We thought the Xmas thing was for all Danes and not just "families with children".

My 1st and definitely last attendance in these things!!!!

08 December, 2005 09:33  
Blogger MJ said...


Maybe that is true. The country is changing fast though, and websites like flickr for example are blocked for reasons that doesn't make much sense. What about if they just give the user the choice? He decide if he wants a full proxy or not.

but then people here are rarely given the choice in these kind of things.

08 December, 2005 17:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone has sorry's post can they post it again- as a test of Etishite's resolve? I live overseas and can't see the blog either

08 December, 2005 21:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have four children and have been to many ( maybe too many )christmas parties. My husband smokes and is usually found mingling around in the "smoking" area that is almost always naturally created at these events, if not designated. It is just natural in our society today that we accomodate everyone.Why a young family with kids would sit at a table with singles who are smoking is beyond me. Their energy might be better spent trying to find a better table suited to them.
I dont smoke, and I dont actually like being around it..but that is for me to adjust. If they are being reasonable, and I am being reasonable, we can always work it out. Who am I to judge someone else ? It is all about compromise.

08 December, 2005 21:42  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anon@21.11 - email me. [my username here] at gmail.

09 December, 2005 06:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Secret,
can you send me a copy of Sorry's latest politically, religiously and morally disturbing note regarding Etisalat's sky-rocking performance?

09 December, 2005 10:03  

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