I’m often asked how I went to the Emirates and why, and now that I have returned a week ago, there are even more questions, so I decided to write about it separately.
I left Ukraine in October 2014, feeling that otherwise I could completely burn out. Anyone who has ever dealt with me knows how cheerful I am, but when my cheerfulness makes no impression on others – so deep they are in their troubles – I swell up and fall down too. So the only way out for me was to go. I chose Dubai because it’s very easy to go there: find a job online and – in many cases – get a ticket, accommodation and food as a gift. I went abroad for the first time, without money and a smallest idea of where I was going, and it was very scary, especially considering that this is a Muslim country, and I’m such a freedom-loving person. I expected to see a country wrapped in a burqa, but it appeared to be cosmopolitic and eclectic.
Clothing and security
Actually, there is often about the same thing under these black things called abayas, it’s especially recognizable by shoes with some wild heels and expressive makeup. For a deeper understanding, such things are not welcome in Islam. For even deeper – these clothes are extremely convenient for hiding prostitution. And for the very deep: the latter is not very skillfully hidden. So, at first glance we have national diversity and eclectic harmony, because everyone coexists peacefully, at second glance there is an official and unofficial version of what is happening, for example, if you are a woman and booked a hotel room, you will not be allowed a man, and we talk about that, but if you are a woman going to a man’s room, everything is ok ?, and we don’t talk about that. Visiting official institutions, you have to cover more, the rest depends on how much you like to attract attention: there are many workers from different cultures here, some – quite hungry for a woman.
Be that as it may, a woman in the Emirates feels protected. In fact, in terms of security, everything is great: you can freely forget passports and credit cards in the middle of the road, complain about the harassment of the boss, etc; cameras and fines are the key to a good habit of not doing shit, which I sincerely wish to everyone.
Pros and cons
Hearing the word “Dubai“, people usually imagine this ⬇️
and, of course, that ⬇️
,and immediately begins to envy feverishly. In fact, skyscrapers look much better in photos than in reality, and the pros and cons will be discussed below.
So, here are the pros:
- standard of living, security, average salary for which you can live decently;
- multiculturalism (because it’s always fun);
- air conditioners in all premises and transport;
- a wide range of stuff in supermarkets (although sometimes it’s a time eater anyway);
- cleanliness and order;
- quite good public transport (there is a cool subway in Dubai, with common wagons and separate ones for women and children, and chewing gum is prohibited in the train), tram, spacious buses; as well as highways and affordable prices for cars and fuel.
And the cons:
- horrible saunic climate (however, the end of autumn and winter are mostly quite pleasant), dust, which you constantly breathe, sandstorms; incredible amounts of money are invested in landscaping, but for me, Ukrainian, this is not enough; unpleasant sticky sand on the beach, which never dries to shake it off and even washes off with difficulty (I’m surprised by local fans); incidents such as unexpected rain and flood due to the fact that no drains are foreseen;
- skyscrapers in the clouds are only about sixth part of Dubai, if not less; most areas have nice and tidy, but painfully identical houses, and if you are a middle-class person, most likely you will live there, and rarely see all that cool kind of Dubai from the pictures;
- everything is far, you have to get everywhere, it’s an incredible time eater; besides
- it’s mainly nowhere to go (who seeks will find, but… well, it’s nothing like Lviv, with its centuries-old culture of cafes, festivals and simply historical places for walks; by the way, to be a pedestrian in Dubai is not an easy task, it’s not a problem on the promenades, but you don’t walk along highways, for a person who is used to walking on sidewalks a lot, this is a rather unpleasant part;
- multiculturalism (yes, it has both pros and cons: in such conditions you can easily become a racist, stop being a racist, and then become a racist again; in short, if you work with people, it can be a bit of a challenge ?;
- despite all of that multiculturalism – the lack of culture in its classical sense. In fact, the Emirates are trying hard to create it, and honestly, well done, but in the 70’s the history of the Emirates made an unnatural leap from poverty to wealth, from the scorching barren desert to air conditioning and mass landscaping, from highly deadly pearl mining to oil, but history is usually what actually happens instead of that jump. Modern young people look a little bewildered and frivolous: their parents or grandparents lived in the barasti – houses made of palm branches, and new generation lives suddenly in skyscrapers, it’s an incredible leap, which can make you get lost a bit.
I would describe a typical member of the younger generation as a kind, sociable, lazy, unambitious dude in r&b style, in a black cardigan and ripped jeans. Nice, but not my cup of tea, as the English say.
Children in the Emirates
I am grateful to fate for the opportunity to give birth in the Emirates. It means a brand new separate ward with a transformer bed, support for natural childbirth and breastfeeding, as well as 2 more days of delicious food you don’t have to think about and staff knocking softly to enter. I still remember these 2 days as a resort, because in 2.5 years I have hardly parted with my Newcomer, and having no personal space is difficult. I have heard many tragic stories about childbirth in Ukraine, it hurts me a lot and I really want to make a movie about it; I hope one day we will achieve the right to relax, trust and relax.
As for how children live here, well, in every way. My eye caught the children who eat the ugliest type of fast food, children whose babysitters hang on the phones while they trying get my ?attention, children who are limited in the fresh air and the adequate natural environment. Well, there are nice playgrounds and many places have rooms for mother and child, and you can let your children play freely in the toystore. But in Lviv I see more opportunities for a child.
For 6 years I came to Ukraine every year. The first summer, I was torn to pieces, looking at the number of vagrants, beggars, unfortunate old men, and so on. There are none in Dubai. Older people, if they are already there, are mostly cucumbers who are exactly learning to scuba dive; in Ukraine, a woman in her 30s may look like 60 years old. This, of course, is by no means a reproach to that woman, but simply an unfortunate fact. Back at the airport, I counted people in the smoking room: 3 men, 8 women. I shrank from the drunks, shuddered at the swearing, handed out tips and alms. It felt like I don’t have to think about money, even though it wasn’t quite so. And in a few years – not at all, because Ukrainian prices have risen many times over.
Every year, every arrival was always an explosive mixture of pain and joy. Upon arrival, the senses are so sharpened to the smallest detail that everything crashes into you, as if immediately after childbirth. Last year, I was distracted by the number of Russians in my native Lviv, which licked like mushrooms after the rain, and all sorts of criminals.
This year I just arrived, and everything is still fresh: the girl says to the dog “you’re bad”, the guy picks up cigarette butts from the roadside and lights it, the old woman is standing at the counter, and the other woman rudely tells her “looked around? stand in line then!”, people who still didn’t learn to press the button to change the light to green (although it has been there for years), broken pavement, masks under the nose, the inconvenience of my own smile, a number of unsolicited advice and help (I was even asked if it’s normal for my child to have hair covering his eyes ?), lawn mower from 9 to 10 pm, swearing and drunken singing under the windows in the middle of the night, stupidity, rudeness, laziness, shifting responsibilities, lack of healthy boundaries, oh my dear Ukraine.
But look, a new tree was planted here, and every year I see volumes of existing trees growing, and here they dug and planted flowers so that the careless people wouldn’t cut their way (because there is hope that even careless people will not dare to trample flowers), and here they repaired stairs, opened a new beautiful store, closed the old one with cockroaches, which I didn’t have time to complain about last year, and the air that you can breathe, and a cool breeze! Sincerity, humor, friendliness, willingness to help, and most importantly a spark and a tornado of ideas, oh my dear Ukraine!
What is there in Lviv, what is not in Dubai, and vice versa
Dubai is good as a transit point: to earn a little, to feel like you don’t have to think about a piece of bread, to taste life in a safe and clean environment, to add points to the resume, to acquire new skills, to learn language, to observe cultural differences and to learn to cooperate with them. If you have money, you can do business here, if no – it’s better in Ukraine. You can attend to some big and well-organized event (for me, in the whole story, it was only one Halloween party – I’m not a fan, but the Emirates celebrate everything that can be sold). You can look at everything that is longest, highest, deepest, largest, widest, etc. in the world – this is how a country whose history can be told in 5 minutes comes out of the situation.
This will not work with Ukrainian history, so genetically and culturally my demands and potential are greater – the Emirates cannot meet my needs.
Due to the fact that for many it’s a transit point, you can hardly have your favorite stores, favorite employees (doctors, waiters, salesmen, etc.), it’s a constant rotation – now there is, tomorrow there is no. Instead, Lviv is quite stable and is constantly multiplying new things. Lviv has the largest number of cafes per capita in the world. And everything can happen in those cafes! ?
At the same time, something is always broken on Lviv, or non-existent, read – opportunities. Yes, you can’t fix everything, and you often feel irritated and tired. But eventually you always have a place to get distracted, your lungs always have air, your feet always have a place to walk, your stomach can always find its comfort, and most importantly – you can always talk to someone in your own language.