Big Boss Madam visits Angelina (Jolie?!)
Jeg er stærk tilhænger af ytringsfriheden.
Jeg slår gerne et slag for vores individuelle ret til at sige (og tænke) hvad vi vil. Og så skal vi samtidig respektere, at det også gælder for alle andre.
Er jeg ansvarlig for andres reaktion på mine ytringer (og tanker)?
Ja – det er der nogle, der mener. De skriver lige nu kronikker og læserbreve om at vi skal lade være med at provokere og være mere kulturelt sensitive. Måske skal vi endda sige undskyld for nogle tegninger?
Ind i mellem er det ganske sikkert strategisk kløgtigt at bevare en diplomatisk tone.
Men måske kan problematikken også vendes på hovedet?
Er det ikke modtagers eget ansvar, hvorledes han eller hun vil modtage budskabet?
Vælger jeg ikke selv, om jeg bliver vred, glad, lykkelig, frustreret eller rasende over en ytring eller en handling?
Er det andre, der provokerer mig – eller er det mig, der lader mig provokere?
Nuvel – i et helt andet og langt lettere hjørne – så giver jeg ytringsfriheden en high-five’r og sender det frie ord videre til Fru Cox:
When your friend tells you she is moving half way around the world, from your quiet, green and pleasant village to the bustling metropolis of Dubai there are two thoughts which immediately spring to mind.
Firstly, what will I do without her?
Secondly, when can I visit?
Perhaps it was presumptuous of me that they would want us to visit at all, I know that leaving your family and friends in the ?mother country? to live abroad means that you never have guests that just ?pop in? for tea, rather you have house guests that stay…for a while… Perhaps they outstay their welcome, having a house guest is tiring afterall!
But I did ask to visit and I think we compromised pretty well by spending half our stay at the Hilton Doubletree in Ras al Khaima and the rest with our Dear Danish friends in Dubai itself.
To be honest Dubai was never on my ?must see? list, but as soon as Mrs K started to talk about all the things there are to see and do here the traveller in me began to wake up after a long slumber (whilst I have been busy having children and setting up home) and I found myself desperate to experience it all. And having been here for a little over a week I feel I need at least 4 more weeks here to start to get a real feel for the place.
There are an awful lot of myths about visiting and living in Dubai but before my eyes they are melting away and I really have seen for myself why so many people are drawn here every year to work, bringing their families with them. Yes the place has its issues, but doesn?t everywhere? I now know that you won?t get arrested for holding hands in the street, for wearing western clothing or for hugging your friend.
I have had an absolute blast since we arrived, not least because it would appear that my friendship with Mrs K really does survive the distance. When she walked towards me in the hotel it was if we had never been apart, it was like I saw her yesterday and we were meeting for coffee, the ease at which we have settled back into each others company has been comforting, and the children have been just as adaptable. We chat and joke like normal, jokes about language and place names, about the sales man who tried to sell me silk addressing me ?Big Boss Madam! You buy! Buy!? and the tall, elegant Danish woman gets addressed; ?Angelina! Angelina! Come in here and buy!?
Laughing and joking whilst experiencing the culture and tastes of the Emirati makes for a wonderful day. Exploring the souks, visiting a mosque and taking a boat trip on the creek with a good friend and the kids has been wonderful. And I sit here now after all the excitement of this morning with a cup of Earl Grey tea in Mrs K?s kitchen and we are about to prepare the dinner.
I contemplate that the days we have been spending here fly from one extreme to the other; bustling, exotic flavors of the souk contrast with calm, comforting family life at home; a trip up the world?s tallest and most extravagant tower the Burj Khalifa after a green and wholesome trip to the park; dinner at any number of restaurants serving a plethora of world cuisines compared with a lovely, home made spaghetti bolognese prepared with love. And it occurs to me, Dubai is what you make of it.
In my time here I have seen that Dubai has, in fact, been constructed on a foundation of family values, cleverly masked by mountains and mountains of money. It?s true what they say; the only place on the planet where you?ll see someone walking a tiger down the street! I haven?t seen it but I believe it could happen! It?s a place where the things we ordinary folk consider extravagant and perhaps ridiculous becomes part of the everyday and expected. It really is like the Sheikh woke up one morning and thought to himself ?Today I would like some penguins on my ski slope? or ?Today I will build the world?s tallest tower…? There really are no limits here, bigger is better and biggest is best!
But really, behind all the glittering facades of sky scrapers and the golden shimmering shopping malls is a soft and squishy heart of gold, a big softy under an armor of reflective glass! Traveling with my daughter alone, having left my husband and son to go on a skiing trip (neither of them would appreciate the heat of the desert anyway) not once have I felt threatened, at risk or taken advantage of. We have been welcomed by everyone everywhere we have been, from boarding the plane to taking taxis, the Emirati attitude towards children and families is admirable, a relief and a pleasure. There are parks, play centres, nurseries and schools on every street, breastfeeding in public is not discouraged and people are only too happy to help with the stroller. The children are spoken to not ignored or tolerated, like I sometimes feel they are in public in the UK. It feels a safe environment here.
Perhaps that is why Mrs K and her family seem so settled here, it offers everything their family need. In the week business is taken care of, Dubai is kept running by business men and women from all over the globe doing what they do best and at weekends the family is celebrated with amazing days out, proper family time and opportunities you just wouldn?t get if you were living anywhere else.
One could argue that in this extravagant desert state their lives are as wholesome as my family?s in our green, leafy corner of England. Perhaps they are brought closer together because their extended family are so far away, perhaps they treasure the family visitors because they are not always popping in for tea?
I don?t know, but what I do know is, it works for them. And many, many other families here.
I have had such a wonderful time comparing our families lives. The cost of petrol, a pint of milk and vegetables is valid conversation in Mummy-Land, and really, though she be elegant, beautiful, desert dwelling Angelina, and I, Big Boss Madam from the English village, we really aren?t that different. We both just want to provide a happy home for our children and have a giggle whilst we do it!
Hvis du har appetit på flere af Fru Cox’s tanker, så synes jeg, at du skal smutte en tur forbi bloggen: