Thursday, January 10, 2008

Should I marry a Sheikh for Chanel?

It has been just a little more than six months since I last went to Paris and my senses are longing for this place.

So I book a few days’ holiday, a plane ticket and a hotel. I even have a ticket for a show, since my off days are going to be during fashion week, an exclusive event in the city of "lights...? models...? guest list...?"

But alas, the magic is not meant for me. Not this time. The French Consulate in Dubai has been busy. Perhaps all the Sheikhs’ wives are on their way to pick Chanel garments off the catwalk. Hm, maybe I really should take up that Sheikh I met on his invitation “for a drink, or something…”

I called them (the consulate, not the Sheiks’ wives) to find out whether they can process an express visa for me and/ or what to do about finding an appointment but, in true French hospitality, the ‘monsieur’ on the other side of the line put the phone down in my ear.

Which reminds me of the difference in rudeness between the French and the Emiratis. The French are rude in a pompous sort of way. They seem to get much satisfaction out of creating problems and being intimidating. The Emiratis, in turn, simply have complete disregard for anyone or anything other than themselves.

Well, so much for making me feel welcome. This disappointment makes me appreciate how freely my job in the travel industry allows me to cross borders. Hopefully this job will take me to Paris again soon.

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