First let me say I had a perfect Dubai weekend. It began on Thursday night with and unplanned evening with friends that finished up eating out by the sea at the sailing club. That evening led to a pj day on Friday and relaxing evening watching a film.
Saturday was a day out in the desert - wadi bashing with friends. I love Dubai but the craziness of it can and does get to you. So a little effort is required to escape the madness. After a leisurely breakfast at the aforementioned sailing club watching the racing dhows prepare just off the beach, we set off to Wadi Ray in Oman.
First rant - just across the border into spectacular scenery the small truck in front of us first chucks soda can out of the window then a plastic bag. This is one of the most beautiful if stark spots on earth and suddenly the pristine landscape becomes dustbin.
We made to the wadi detouring to enjoy the geology (bonus of having a DH a geologist). We arrive at the wadi and find just two other Dubai cars parked there. This is a bonus as on the weekends beauty spots can be packed. We were delighted to find that there was actually some water in the wadi (wadis are dry river beds and some have pools of varying sizes). We slowly drove up the wadi to find a picnic spot. In the shade of a dying date plantation we stopped. It was just us, the flies and the wasps - quite perfect.
Then coming from the direction of the village a large crowd appeared. No problem until I saw how they were dressed - HELLO. This is not Brighton Beach but Oman. All the men bar the boy were topless and none had a body worthy of exposure. This in itself wasn't the problem for me (although why I had to look a their sunburned beer guts I don't know) - it was the lack of cultural respect. Don't they know that this type of exposure of skin may be okay on a Dubai beach, but not anywhere else. The women were all in short shorts and tank tops. Even now I find anger bubbling in me.
So my totally perfect weekend was scarred (which I can certainly handle) but this lack of respect drives me wild......society as a whole has lost respect. People swear on a continuous basis regardless of who may have to hear. They dress inappropriately for their location. This is a problem world-wide and is a total outward symptom of the me me focus of today. 'If I want to swear - it's my right too. I don't care if there is a child near by so what. If I want to strip off - it's my right to. I'm hot and I don't care if the view of my naked body offends and so on....'
I know this rant makes me sound frightfully old fashioned, but I see evidence of the lack of respect everywhere I go. People not giving up seats to the elderly or the pregnant. How they treat people working in shops, on buses and trains. Listening to their private music so loud that three carriages could hear it let alone the poor person with the seat beside. Or the deliberate polution with rubbish.
I ask myself continuously why this is happening. What is so different today than ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Has this rise in self, this cult of me, led to loss of respect of self.? Here - I am thinking of binge drinking.....I could go on but I won't.