The very last day in Dubai I bought a gorgeous head scarf from a store.in the Marriott, the owner draped it over my head and I wore it that afternoon and evening. The hotel has an extremely comfortable bar and restaurant with sofas in recesses where one can be most private. I do realize that having a glass of wine wearing a head dress is a bit contradictory, given the prohibition against drinking but one cannot overdo observations of another culture. So I sat sipping a glass of white wine in the late afternoon – there were groups of men sitter throughout the spacious room, I had been in the room before so there was something to compare it with. I felt protected and safe with the scarf upon my head – I looked at the men around me with an aura of detachment and saw them as they truly were, it seems to me. Two men were obviously gay, I spoke to them very briefly but observed them from across the room. No desire whatsoever to join them, they were employed in the financial industry in Dubai. Then another man was drinking beer and playing with his computer. One could just tell that he was boring and rather crude. So, of course, no desire to join him either. I just sat in serenity
What is serenity? It is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Its synonyms are calmness, calm, composure, tranquillity, peacefulness, peace of mind, peace, peaceableness, collectedness, poise, aplomb, self-possession, sangfroid, imperturbability, equanimity, equableness, ease, placidity, placidness; togetherness, unflappability; rare ataraxy, ataraxia.
Those are not exactly the words to describe Alexis McBrice – tranquil, composed, peaceful placid, unflappable. But there I was feeling all of those feelings. Later I was joined by three residents of Dubai – a man and two women who I had met the night before when I was wheeled into the hotel in a wheelchair because of the fall and the trip to Rashid Emergency Room, a whole different idea of a tourist destination. I sure know how to live. Hahaha. So the four of us went to a newly opened bar in the hotel called The Vault. An incredible view of Dubai and a superb white wine. We spoke of life in Dubai and men of privilege and wealth. It was very enlightening as I had observed some idiosyncratic behaviours in a person of privilege and wealth. The two young women were not wearing headscarfs so it must have been a strange looking scene – the man in virgin whites (as I call them), two beautiful young women and me in a headscarf and purple dress. Needless to say, it was a fascinating experience. At one point I draped the head scarf around my shoulders as it was getting hot under the beautiful scarf.
I have been intending to wear a head scarf for about three years after speaking with an Arab woman in locker room of the pool in Dolphin Square. She said that men afforded her more respect when she wore a head scarf. I also wanted to wear one to be in solidarity with Arab women. In London on this visit a member of the Royal Family of Dubai draped me in a headscarf and I looked positively Arabic as my hair was covered and tinted glasses hid my blue eyes. That picture is included with this blog. Will I wear a head scarf being back in the United States? I am not sure – I have only been back for six days and with unpacking and jet lag – it is confusing times. But I do have a huge pile of head scarves which can be put to good use. And my hair is getting to be a wreck. Now that is motivation! I have so many things to do and so many experiences to integrate. It is just one day at a time at this moment.
What is idiosyncratic behaviour, by the way? It is distinctive, characteristic, distinct, distinguishing, peculiar, individualistic, different, typical, special, specific, representative, eccentric , unique, personal, private, essential, unconventional, uncommon, abnormal, irregular, aberrant, anomalous, odd, off-centre, quirky, queer, strange, weird, bizarre, outlandish, freakish, extraordinary; rare singular. A distinguishing quality of rich Arab men, an aberrant trait is that they are not collaborative. The meaning of the word is produced by or involving two or more parties working together: So is it possible to be an independent woman and have a relationship with a rich Arab man? It seems not unless he were to make a major change in how he related to women. Or this one in particular – I do not care how he relates to other women. The young woman at the Vault in Dubai spoke of this and it brought a sense of relief. It isn’t just me, it isn’t just he. Its a phenomena which is, in part cultural. Is there a way around it? Perhaps, but there has to be some collaboration to get there and it has not been forthcoming.
The picture attached to this blog is on Instagram with the following caption.
Me: Portrait of an obsession – how pathetic. Now that is funny.
I am laughing! You get in trouble when you propose to a guy, volunteering to be the London wife, to a person whose identity at the time was unknown. It was later that I learned the true identity of the Sultan. What a mess! I am totally laughing. But there is a solution which I just thought of. I can be the San Francisco wife, so will not have to move. This all can work out. So if you are the Sultan and you read this I guess I am proposing again – this time not in person. If you are a person who knows the Sultan and you are reading this blog maybe you could tell him of this indecent proposal.Hahahahaha