Sundry observations about Dubai

1. My very chatty and friendly Pakistani barber, while holding a razor to my throat, asked me to pledge that we would continue an email correspondence for the rest of our lives.  Every sentence he referrered to me as "Very Great Boss," and repeatedly expressed his satisfaction that I was not one of those "two-assed men" who are otherwise so common.  Imagine Borat with Eric Idle-like intonations.  But you know, I still am not sure if he was weird.

2. If they promise you a "surprise desert tour," be warned it will involve scaling (and descending) a fifty-foot high sand dune with a four-wheel drive at full speed.  No matter what they tell you, this is not fun.  Afterwards the driver spoke: "We have accidents (pause)…but not so many casualities [sic].  The vehicles roll over, but the sand is soft."

3. If you want to find heavily veiled women (not hard to do), the easiest way is to visit the fancy shopping malls and head directly for the make-up counter.

4. I am told that the dowry for the average (native) Dubai woman is now running about $150,000.  Many Dubai men are substituting into foreign women.

5. The "traditional" belly dance was done by a Russian woman; Dubai women are no longer allowed to do such things in public.