Traffic Cardinal Traffic Cardinal wrote 19.02.2024

Thug Life in Dubai: One Affiliate Fairytale

Traffic Cardinal Traffic Cardinal wrote 19.02.2024
19 min
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An Arabian Nights tale about Dubai, rappers, and affiliates.

Oh, imagine a land, it's a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where you wander among every culture and tongue
It's chaotic, but, hey, it's home

I’ll be blatantly honest: Dubai is not my favorite place. I have a completely different view of a lavish lifestyle. This is how I imagine a life of luxury: I stay in my armchair for the entire day, talking to no one and seeing no one, preferably with a good book and a nice bottle of wine. Gucci slippers and Balmain T-shirts cut absolutely no figure in my eyes. Actually, this statement applies to all big things in general: big watches, big cars, big buildings, too. Well, there is something excruciatingly big in my life that makes quite an impression, but that’s another story.

Anyway, when I first arrived in Dubai, I couldn’t stop wondering why they had built the Burj Khalifa in the first place. The primary reason for erecting skyscrapers is the need for space — broadwise. Dubai, on the contrary, is situated smack-dab in the heart of a desert: build whatever you want and wherever you want. Then, the Palm Islands, just as artificial, provoked exactly the same thoughts: why? Why would you build anything on artificial islands while you have miles of land and sand? There might be an intricate explanation beyond the understanding of ordinary guys using the metro instead of a Lamborghini taxi, but I suspect the primary reason is a trivial desire to show off and act up, displayed by those who’d struck oil — all of a sudden. Metaphorically or not-so-metaphorically speaking.

Affiliates, rappers, oil sultanate residents, corrupt officials from a godforsaken Russian village, business owners managing Chinese firms producing fake sneakers — these are your typical luxury store frequenters striving to prove something to someone. Why do they keep doing that? I know not.

However, in any city, you can divert from a popular tourist road and bump into an adventure. Today, I’m gonna tell you a hilarious story about my experience with a famous rapper hanging out on a yacht and give you a few recommendations if the life of luxury in Dubai is a far cry from your understanding of success and you tend to chaff at every guest attending affiliate conferences.

With your kind indulgence, dear Sirs and Madams, this is a showdown.

I

When I arrived in Dubai, I soundly, totally, and profoundly ignored the renowned Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountains. My primary goal was to dart to the nearest liquor store and get my license done. I shit you not: as soon as I went through the passport control, I scurried to accomplish this task of the utmost importance.

In the UAE, alcohol can only be bought in special stores and only on the condition that you have a special license. Alcohol cannot be consumed in public places; it is not on display in malls, entrapping a decent chunk of the city, and you can hardly find it in restaurants and bars unless it is a fancy establishment for the happy and the opulent. Keeping that in mind, I hurried to acquire said license, which I highly recommend you do.

So, jot down your first destination: grab your booze at African + Eastern. This is a store chain that boasts a wide variety of alcohol at reasonable prices. The license can be acquired there, too: all you need is a passport. Fill out a form, sign all the necessary papers, and presto, achievement unlocked, you got your first beer in Dubai, and much like Moses, you are ready to guide people across the desert. In truth, this license granted me this previously unknown Moses title, and I became the king of the party. There’s no better ground for a networking session. Everybody wants to make an acquaintance and have a little chat; girls are making curtsies like your royal ladies, and men are pledging to solve any business-related problem. That’s the miracle one bottle of cognac can perform in the Muslim world.

II

As I have previously stated, one bottle of alcohol is a sure way to conjure a miracle in this country. As I splashed some cognac into one respectable gentleman's glass, I realized we sparked an effortless, casual conversation. Traffic, marketing, business, yada yada, blockchain, E-commerce, Facebook restrictions, blah blah blah, that sort of thing. In short, he buttonholed me. Expressing his sheer gratitude for the divine drink, this respectable gentleman, a renowned businessman, invited me to take a yacht ride. The proposition instantly piqued my curiosity: I’m a huge fan of the sea and yachts. For the record, though, I prefer sailing yachts: you keep an eye on the sails, watch the winds, navigation, and many other aspects to make your blood seethe with adrenaline. Oh, how I prefer sailing yachts where one tack change might result in a delicate touch of a boom on your head!

The yachts with glamour girls sipping champagne and taking photos for Instagram... a hard pass. To tell you the truth, I don’t even have money for such yachts. Moreover, I was never invited there. So, when an opportunity turned up, I seized my chance to attend such a luxurious place.

Let me be honest. I was mostly intrigued to see a famed rapper, once an affiliate, who got fantastically rich and became a celebrity. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing more hilarious and preposterous than affiliates, well, except for maybe rappers, and here we have an affiliate who has become a rapper. I absolutely must not miss it. Am I a nutjob or what? Processing the entire encounter, I dropped another shot in the evening, put on my white shirt, snatched my straw hat, and headed to Dubai Marina.

Here’s your number two recommendation. If you are into strolling, saunter around Dubai Marina. That’s where you can enjoy an exciting promenade across piers, relish the breeze, and walk across broad pavements. Generally speaking, Dubai is not designed for pedestrians, but there are places where you can stretch your legs (especially if you’re equipped with refined booze!)

III

At the yacht, things went as promised. Surrounded by girls and cronies, a reputable burly gentleman stepped onto the deck. To me, he looked like Notorious B.I.G., maybe a tad more shiny, as if he were backlighted by the limelight. I saw such people on only one occasion in childhood: when I came across a music channel. As for the rest of the company, well… I can’t begin to describe it. Let’s start with the women. They had enormous glutes. When I say enormous, I imply disproportionally huge glutes. I am still not convinced how it can be possible: it seems to be against the logic of physiology. Looking ahead, I will admit that these girls did a virtuoso twerk to rap music. This twerk whipped the air into jelly. It was terrific. So terrific that I happened to close my eyes several times, hoping to imagine a fair lady citing Shakespeare, not a bunch of fishnet-clothed gals wearing diamante glasses and designer bags.

Men chose Gucci slippers. I don’t have the slightest clue what Gucci adds to these slippers, but it’s always a go-to option for any eccentric out there. These oddballs wear this outstanding footwear with socks, often with white ones. The famous black rapper donned a shirt embroidered with gold and unbuttoned to the navel. A massive gold chain hung around his neck, and this refined necklace glittered like tinsel on a Christmas tree. The man also flashed several tattoos I couldn’t discern. A gigantic diamond, the size of a hemorrhoid, sparkled on his pinky. His left hand was decorated with a gold watch. His right was also decorated, and also by a watch — a different one, but still gold. On his feet, he had the legendary Gucci slippers topped with fur. His sidekicks were dressed in the same fashion. However, unlike their chieftain, they had only one watch each and didn’t possess any gold chain I could spot.

IV

As we departed, I seized a bottle of beer and hauled myself to the top deck. At first, it was nice and quiet, so I could peruse the rappers and affiliates, who danced and took photos in a very amusing way. They flailed their arms, hoisted their legs, and toyed with their fingers, making silly figures. The fishnet-clothed women approached men and protruded their glutes to the eye level as if they had a very urgent message written upon their fannies. The soundtrack? Evidently, rap dedicated to wealth and expensive clothing; the singer even took pains to mention various brands. It was so ridiculous that I felt genuinely elated as if a wizard brought a special birthday present by making a silly rap music video real. Oh my, these moves! You should’ve seen them. I would’ve never believed grown-ass people could have fun like this.

After a while, I realized that the songs were playing in a loop. After even a longer while, I realized that there were only three songs, all released by the famous rapper in furry slippers. By the way, those three songs were binge-playing for six hours straight. Years passed, but I still remember them up to this day.

Especially the glorious Ohhhh, yes, I am fucking rich.

Soon, people gathered on the top deck, and I got an unparalleled opportunity to savor the whiff of confabulations held by rappers and affiliates. As you can imagine, none of the topics referred to Kaiser Wilhelm II and his reasons to plunge into World War I. That would’ve been too simple. No, they discussed... slippers! One flamboyant guy whined that people in Canada couldn’t fathom the real lavish lifestyle; they didn’t give two shits who wore what, and only here in Dubai he could finally be himself. What a hardscrabble existence, I thought, gulping on my beer after a shot of vodka. What a tough life! A tragedy of the misunderstood and the denied! Cheers, my friends! Cheers to slippers and freedom!

V

When I got absolutely shitfaced, I entered the networking stage. Simply put, I started talking. Society didn’t take me seriously, I said. Look at my goddamn literature, no one needs it. Once I wrote a poem for a girl, and the next day she blew a boxer nicknamed Hoover. Of course, he made it public afterward. The girl got herself a convenient though humiliating moniker Cocksucker, and in my poems, I referred to her as Charlotte S., just like Werther from Goethe’s novel. She got what she deserved though. Serves her right. Anyway, we’re not here for that. I meant to say that I did know what it was like to go against the flow and be denied. That’s true, I don’t own Gucci slippers, but my soul is no stranger to detachment, rejection, and mockery. We be of one blood, thou and I, my misunderstood and rejected brothers.

“Oh, yeah, brutha,” said the famous rapper and shook his fingers, “The world doesn’t get us. People are blind.”

“Oh, yeah, brutha. People are too dumb to get us,” chimed in a fishnet-dressed woman and shook her ass.

At this point, I started feeling nauseous, and I barely managed to dangle my head from aboard to throw up. While I was saying goodbye to the luxurious sandwiches mixed with vodka, the rap was still playing non-stop.

Ohhhh, yes, I am fucking rich.

Relieved, I raised my head and took in the beautiful sight. Dubai could impress you from the water: the day was declining, and the sun was setting behind skyscrapers, pouring warm, tender light on the buildings. The glass surfaces of these giants shimmered with the most bizarre colors; the light, reflected repeatedly, created quaint alien shapes. I felt like I was far away from the Earth, levitating in another galaxy, on the spaceship Heart of Gold, which used the Infinite Improbability Drive. I forgot I’d just retched; the memories of loneliness and rejection faded, and I ensnared into the captivity of aesthetic ecstasy, if you will, I saw a human being assert himself, making himself equal to the powers of nature. I saw the human being spread his wings.

Here comes your third recommendation: watch Dubai from the water. Conferences abound in yacht parties, so don’t miss a chance to participate in such an event. Tycoons, moguls, and other bigwigs are welcome to rent a yacht for themselves and enjoy the ride. Behold, the Renaissance man is coming: see him life-size, on the other planet.

VI

Once back, I expressed my most heartfelt thanks and gratefully shook hands with my new friend who’d invited me to the party. Where else could I see everything I saw? In a library?

I was also invited to a nightclub for a drink and dance, but I refused. I’d had enough for decades to come. Those furry slippers and odalisques in fishnet, whipping the air into thick jelly by their glutes would haunt me for the rest of my life, no magic involved. Affiliates and rappers got into expensive cars and left, but I still got a distinct echo of the familiar Ohhhh, yes, I am fucking rich. As our friend Louis-Ferdinand Céline correctly noted, Blessed are those who can content themselves with whorehouses!

I went to the hotel on foot. The hotel was located on the outskirts, in the Pakistani quarter, and I shared the room with cockroaches. The first floor was allocated to a wack-off warehouse. This was the Dubai no one could see: it was easier to come across a man riding a donkey rather than a sheikh in a flashy Ferrari. I love it. I always want to have a peek at reality to take a glimpse at the real state of things.

On my way home, I recalled that I still had half a bottle of cognac left in my backpack. I pulled out the bottle and took a sip, looking around and suddenly realizing that during my stay, I had never swum in the famous Persian Sea, as the Arabs themselves call it, and now, it seemed, was the right time. It was already dark, and I was excited to find a beach for night swimming. My penultimate recommendation: if you are in Dubai, be sure to go swimming in the sea at night at Umm Suqeim Night Swimming Beach. The water in the Persian Gulf resembles fresh milk, and the stars in the sky shine so bright that one might think they are hung there by sheiks and rappers. Ah! And have you seen the Moon? This huge, scintillating Moon? What kind of miracle is this?

Arabian nights
'Neath Arabian moons
A fool off his guard could fall and fall hard
Out there on the dunes

After swimming and stargazing, I grew famished, so I dropped by a legendary Indian restaurant close to home. The restaurant is my last recommendation on the list: Calicut Paragon Restaurant. This is so fucking delicious. Indians from Calcutta who work there have two restaurants, one here in Dubai and the other in Calcutta. The menu is absolutely smashing in general, but I’d point out their crab curry. The dish can invigorate you with spices and quickly sober you up. There's no better place to end a long, busy day.

This is where my adventure ends, my friends. If you don’t like Dubai as much as I do, have fun by ridiculing Balmain customers sparkling like a Christmas tree. One last thing: book a hotel somewhere on the outskirts, taste local food, drink strong Arabic coffee, explore bazaars, buy candies and treats, swim in the sea, and enjoy the sun. Be careful with camels; the same goes for escort women. Always remember: miracles happen to those who embrace the world.

Sincerely Yours,

Roma Nasreddin Seet

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