Dubai – Culture shock is still possible, even with the Internet!
As I was thinking back on 2018, I remembered back to January of this year, when I was getting ready to go on a month long trip. A month!? Yes, that’s right – a whole month! Hard to believe now, when taking even a week off seems impossible. I had a break between jobs and figured I should make the best of it, so off I went with a friend to a few different countries, including India, Dubai and Germany.
Now, let me tell you, I’ve been to about 50 countries in my life so far, which doesn’t seem like nearly enough. Though, at the same time, I thought at this point I would no longer be able to experience culture shock after everything I’ve been through (we’ll save those stories for another time).
Let me tell you, I was wrong.
After a couple of weeks on the beach in India, it was time to try something new – Dubai! I’d always wanted to go to Dubai. It felt like it was a far off mysterious land, but at the same time with so much promise and potential – Luxury, Glamour, Money, Adventure, Business and discounted Ted Baker dresses all in one. What more could a girl ask for?
After arriving to find coffee in a nearby café, for the first time in a long time, I caught myself staring. Staring at the loudspeakers making religious announcements in a language I didn’t understand; staring at the women who were covered from head to toe in black with nothing but their eyes showing, yet still rocking Louis Vuitton handbags and smart phones; staring at the men with five wives following them and wondering how they managed to get along; staring at the wonder of a 7 star hotel’s helicopter landing, staring at all the hookahs and glitter covering the sidewalks, and staring at myself looking funny in a yellow puffy silk dress in the middle of it all.
I found it so funny, that among all of modern technology’s information and accessibility being integrated into this society, that still such strong traditions would continue to rule. Impressive in some ways, scary in others. Yet, even and amongst it all, there he was, a man selling weed at the bar.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. While cannabis is being legalized globally, there are some places that likely will take much much longer to allow it for public use (and not just say manufacturing for export for example), and Dubai is one of them. There are various penalties cited for cannabis possession and sale or distribution in Dubai, including four or more years in prison, and in some cases even Death!
Now, back to the bar. How much you say? An easy $250 per gram if you’re willing to take the risk of punishment. And the funny part….he sold out by the end of the night. Goes to show just how much some people love their bud! What does this mean for globalization of the plant? Time will tell, but at minimum, it does show that there’s a demand for the product, even in the most unsuspecting places.