7 Attempts at Starting an Essay About Dubai
Cause fuck Dubai
I unapologetically hate Dubai. I tend to avoid saying that about anywhere cause sometimes I just don’t jive with a culture, and that’s cool—but Dubai is the absence of culture. It is a mall, a stick in the mud, a land where wealth has become measured by one’s capacity for wastefulness. No one working there is from there, and the Burj Khalifa is a towering monument to “Fuck It”—fuck the earth, fuck god, fuck water, fuck life, fuck the poor, and fuck humility. That’s right, “Welcome to Dubai: ‘Cause Fuck It.”
So, I tried to write about it. I failed. Here are my attempts.
If God exists, one day, he is going to reach down, rip the Burj Khalifa out of the mud and beat humanity to death with it, all the while screaming through tears, “IS THIS REALLY WHY YOU THINK I MADE YOU?”
So you have a twenty-four-hour layover in Dubai—you don’t want to be cooped up in an airport—stale air, over-priced shops, metal, tile, glass, wires, light, ICK! You want to get away from the man-made of it all, see a new place, explore! But here’s the ruse: Dubai is one giant airport.
There are no dogs. Are they dead? Were they ever here?
In the taxi on my way into the city, the driver said he wasn’t from Dubai, and so I asked how he liked it, and he said, “Well…” and then didn’t say another word—as though he forgot, but in retrospect, I think he was hoping I’d forgotten, because if he’d let slip any honest thought in his mind at that moment, he knew, I would’ve told him to turn the fuck around and bring me back to the airport—and I suppose he could’ve lied, could’ve said that Dubai was a wonderful place full of fun and joy, but see—he was a good man, and hell—he did his fuckin’ best.
The man in front of me wore a diamond-studded baseball jersey—all the lines, numbers, letters, trim-and-all was studded with diamonds, and I thought: I should probably kill this person. Whatever they might’ve done, whatever they will do, none of it can possibly be good, and the escalator is right there, and I am so close, and maybe if I stumbled a bit, I could play it off like an accident, but if I can’t manage it, surely—someone, somewhere, should do something about this.
A tidal wave of cold air billowed out of the Tim Hortons, broke against the heat of the desert, and spilled what was left onto the patio of well-dressed socialites, trickling down the stairs, dissipating at the feet of the sweat-caked sun-baked man trying to pick up every discarded Gucci tag, Starbucks receipt, or cigarette butt before anyone turned long enough to voice a complaint. I wondered if he might be crying, but his head was down, and his hat pulled low.
The only conceivable reason for the existence of the Burj Khalifa that I can come up with is that some small angry man condemned to spend the rest of his life in Dubai commissioned it built so that when he finally got up the nerve to throw himself off a building, he wanted to make damn sure he was dead when he hit the ground, and I’m sure I might’ve been corrected on this assumption while I was up there and the video was playing explaining its history, but I was too busy walking around testing windows.
And so yeah, that’s it. That’s Dubai. I mean—just don’t go. If you have a twenty-four-hour layover in the airport, just hang out in there. It’s lovely. If you’ve got a billion dollars in the bank, maybe it’s more fun—idk, maybe they let you throw hunks of gold at poor people.
Thanks for reading The Pigeon Post! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.