Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE is one of the wealthiest cities on the planet. This is the city that introduced ATMs for gold bars where you can take out gold instead of cash.
As a visual merchandiser, travelling to every city for work, I have lived in Abu Dhabi (in 2010) for a couple of months too. The above pic is a typical street that I had walked every day during my lunch break to get my favourite American cheeseburger.
Get this straight – I worked all day from morning to evening. My lunch break was only 30 minutes. And that street you see there, it took me somewhere like 7 to 10 minutes (depending on traffic) to reach that mall with a big McDonald's sign and another 7 to 10 minutes to come back. So 20 minutes of my ‘only’ lunch break for the day was spent just walking that street, following all the strict traffic rules of the city, no jaywalking. Then I would stand in the line and order my food. Luckily, the good people working at the ‘Burger King’ served the order within 5 minutes.
So basically, I was left with just 5 minutes to hog my lunch.
This is why when someone bulls**t about hard work, I can see right through their soul. Because I have worked hard for real.
The selfie drama. Been there done that!
Also remember, Visual Merchandising is a much respected profession. Ask anyone working in fashion retail; VMs are skilled professionals who are like engineers or doctors of retailing.
So one must wonder – how then, are unskilled migrant workers treated?
View from a pedestrian bridge I had to cross every day!
The manager I worked with, who seemed to have obtained some MBA degree in the United Kingdom couldn’t keep his proud nose down as he insisted (with a fake British accent) that I could just go to an Indian restaurant right behind my workplace instead.
Sadly, this dude wouldn’t understand my style, even if I had told him, that I savoured great pleasure and pride in being the only Indian visual merchandiser in our company, but also hated the overly spiced Indian food in that restaurant, so I needed my American cheeseburger with fries, while listening to my favourite Finnish metal-band songs on my headphones as I walked while actualizing that I was working in a gulf country, and also keeping the dream of visiting the United Kingdom close to my heart. That is my style (one of them).
He wouldn’t understand – that to me, was the best lunch break.
Sunset over Persian Gulf!
Refueling station! First view of Dubai while driving from Abu Dhabi!