Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Social etiquette for when the world’s too small

with 10 comments

So you’ve probably gathered that I was away last week, sunning myself lizard-style on some rocks on a small island off the coast of Malaysia.

To get there, we flew seven hours from Dubai, took a domestic flight to the island, and then travelled by road for another half hour. Looking around at the tropical landscape, bursting with greenery and wild monkeys, I felt as if we’d really got away.

Peace, tranquillity - and then someone from Dubai turns up

Peace, tranquillity – and then someone from Dubai turns up



And one of the nice things about going on holiday is that, like the tree monkeys, you can let it all hang out. You don’t know anyone; you’re never going to see these people ever again so does it really matter if your hair’s unkempt and your boobs look saggy? Course not. Dubai it ain’t.

So there I was – no makeup, hair all over the shop, cellulite sparkling in the morning sun – when I saw her. At breakfast. In my hotel. There she was – a woman whom I don’t know but see all the time in the supermarket in Dubai.  Not only was she from Dubai, she was from my compound.

Both of us, when we’re in Spinneys, are usually much more polished than we were looking at breakfast that morning (I noticed, too, that she was knocking back the bubbly – the lush!)

Our eyes met and widened in surprise. We froze. I could see her thinking, as did I: “Oh shit.”

And then this wonderful thing happened. Without speaking, without acknowledging each other, our eyes slid away from each other. By osmosis, by a deep feminine understanding, we agreed that we simply wouldn’t notice each other so we could each get on privately with letting it all hang out.

For that, dear unknown-friend, I’m truly grateful. But you do realise that we’ll still have to ignore each other in Spinneys? (nice tan, by the way).


Written by mrsdubai

February 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

10 Responses

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  1. PS, If you’re wondering, I’ve no idea why WordPress has made the font so large. Or am I hallucinating?


    February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

  2. That is hilarious! Indeed a small world. Are you sure though that it was her?

    Pinay Flying High

    February 25, 2013 at 10:51 pm

  3. All the way in Malaysia! What a coincidence!

    Diana Mahmoud

    February 26, 2013 at 5:19 am

  4. I love that. I too would have probably done the glance and then ignore. It’s all just too hard when you are on holiday! But I bet you put some lippy on next time you went to breakfast!


    February 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

  5. Weird isn’t it. This has happened to me on holiday THREE TIMES in my life. It’s all a bit ‘Truman Show’ for my liking…

    Homesick and Heatstruck

    February 27, 2013 at 8:35 am

    • Three times? That is mighty spooky!!! Was it the same person each time? *Stalker*!!!


      February 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      • No 😀 three completely different people turning up on completely different holidays. If it had been the same person I’d have taken out some sort of injunction or restraining order!

        Homesick and Heatstruck

        February 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

  6. Happened to me when I went to Thailand, in a club someone walked up and said, “You’re from Dubai right?”. Also, while in Barcelona going back to Dubai, met a Malaysian family, they’re going back to Malaysia and we’re on the same flight. After about four months, I saw them in Singapore. So yeah, the world is small after all.


    March 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm

  7. I ran into one of my teachers from Dubai on the steps of the Sacre Coeur in Paris a couple of years after I moved away. Surreal to say the least!

    Was Living Down Under

    July 12, 2013 at 8:44 am

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