The other day I was asked by a fan (or ‘poor unfortunate individual who accidentally stumbled across the blog’ as I like to call them) if I actually liked the UAE at all. Apparently he finds my blogs most amusing but claims that I focus an awful lot on the negatives. He’s right, I do. Because it’s funny.
I enjoy living in the UAE very much. The nuances that make up the fabric of life over here are all part of the experience, whether it’s encountering a man driving on the wrong side of the road, government officials playing Angry Birds whilst at work or plumbers installing boilers with shoe laces, I love it.
I read a few other blogs written by expatriates living in the UAE and whilst they’re all good they generally cover the same sort of stuff. They will highlight problems or issues and talk about them, and that’s fine. I however like to observe, analyse and present solutions or advice on how to tackle the hurdles in which we face.
Elsewhere I am forever hearing people moaning about the UAE and I truly don’t understand why. When you come over here you are given accommodation, sometimes a car, medical insurance, you don’t pay tax (well, you pay stealth tax but more on that another day), you’re able to save lots of moon pie and you generally have a superb quality of life, one that you could only dream of having elsewhere.
Ok so I live in Al Ain, not exactly the party capital of the UAE but so what? I work 5 days a week and on my 2 days off there’s nothing stopping me driving 90 minutes up the road to either Dubai or Abu Dhabi for a jolly up. It’s an on-tap luxury. What would I do if I was living back home in London at the weekend? Head down to Brighton to run away from keen homosexuals or head up to London on a night out and realise that I can’t get home because the last train left an hour ago and the next one will be a million years? And I can’t afford a kebab to keep warm.
Do I get homesick sometimes? Yes of course I do, but I then speak to my friends a lot and they are forever telling me that thanks to Gordon Brown they haven’t got any money for a half pint of shandy or a loaf of Hovis. This is something that I haven’t got to worry about. Europe is in peril and the British government is so far in the red that soon they’ll run out of red ink.
Living is all about quality of life, and what quality of life is it to have 90% of your wages eradicated by bills, rent and beer each month? None at all and that will drive you to the brink of insanity. I never went to University and was told by my Year 12 Geography teacher Mrs. L that I was a bum and would never amount to anything.
But I think I’ve made my point. I love the UAE because although you sacrifice being near to your friends and family all the time, they’re always only a phone call or email away. You can have a quality of life out here that is second to none, and you don’t even need a degree – or brain – to do it. The great Western ship is sinking and the money and life quality lies to the east.
So, this weekend I’m off to stay on the boat and have a few lagers. How do you like that Mrs. L?