Here is a photo of my manicured fingers. For my friends back in Toronto, I promise you this is a one-off thing, so don’t panic. But the experience did prompt me to blog about this human behavior magnified in this part of the world: I can, therefore I spend.
- Nails. Getting French manicure only cost me AED 50 (EUR 10 or USD 13) in a decent ladies-only salon in a shopping mall. Because how affordable it is, getting manicured and pedicured becomes a popular weekly routine for a lot of ladies – both local and expats. Whereas I just got depressed hearing from my Filipino aesthete that it’s been four months since she left her baby behind.
- Hair. I have never seen as high percentage of blonds among Caucasians as in Abu Dhabi. I’m serious. The second time I saw the same Lebanese hairdresser, he asked me, “why don’t you dye your hair?” I said, “no, i like mine grey.” he went, “Oh, I remember you. Last time you also didn’t want your hair dyed.” That was three months ago – I was surprised he remembered me. As if that wasn’t enough, he went on saying, “You are not from this world. Look around, everyone dyes their hair.” Okay, maybe not everyone, but it’s pretty close. Apparently if you can afford adding that touch of gold in your hair, you get it done!
- Cars. Earlier today a colleague complained that he had to pay AED 8,400 (EUR 1,700 or USD 2,200) for his wife’s car registration renewal – all just for her speeding tickets. I asked him what kind of car his (house)wife drives – he said Audi. Just another case of I can therefore I spend.
Like a friend once said, “Abu Dhabi is a place that brings out the best of you and the worst of you.” Unfortunately it’s more the latter for most of us. I’m secretly hoping the nail polish will chip off sooner rather than later.