TIFU by Trying to Be a Social Vigilante

This occurred last month in Dubai.

Prelude: I'm American. I've spent a lot of time working in the Middle East. I have good friends of mine that work and live in Dubai. I started my three-week vacation with flying from my work location in Erbil, Iraq with a 12-hour layover in Dubai on my way to Paris. It was a Thursday night, which in most Middle Eastern countries is their Friday, so everyone's out and about. I have not consumed alcohol for seven weeks due to work. The amount of drinking below is not critical, but I think it's worth noting as I thoroughly believe in liquid courage. Additionally, I am only mentioning the gender of my friends below to paint a picture. Here's a timeline of events.

9:31PM: Only one seated at table for 4 for reservation at 9:30PM. Orders first cocktail.

9:48PM: First friend, a female whom we'll call Sevilla arrives. Cocktail 1 finished. Cocktail 2 ordered.

10:15PM: Rest of the party, females Cali and Dailan (China) arrives. Cocktail 3 ordered.

11:45PM: Dinner, cocktails 3 and 4 and shots 1-4 of Don Julio Silver tequila consumed. Uber to bar/club to watch DJ Satori perform commences.

12:25AM: Shot of tequila, Corona (only shit beer in Dubai), and espresso martini (Cali bought it for me as I mentioned I had a headache) all consumed.

3:00AM: Many drinks have been consumed. Satori's set was legit. Fortunately for me, my company put me up in the same hotel where the club was. At this time my good friend Barcelona (male), has just shown up for the night stone cold sober after work and wants to have a beer and a meal. This works out perfectly, as I have a flight at 7:15AM so I can eat, drink, and make my way to the airport and sleep like a baby on the flight.

3:15AM: The five of us: Sevilla, Cali, Dailan, Barcelona, and I decide to go back to my hotel room order room service, adult beverages and then go our separate ways. The hotel staff, however, stops us at the elevators. Now, I have seen this before with hotels in Dubai; prostitution is and has been very rampant in this city for a while, so it's normal for hotels to deny guests the ability to bring any additional guests to their room if they haven't already been checked in. I'm drunk and a little offended, probably took it a little personal that they would think of my friends as prostitutes. Regardless, I'm still in a cheerful mood and there's a late night spot that serves food in the lobby and I'm able to order beers to my room and sneak them down to the restaurant. Win-Win.

5:00AM: Cali and Dailan have departed. Sevilla, Barcelona, and I are smoking a cigarette in front of the main entrance of the hotel and we bid farewell to one another.

5:02AM (Storytime): I need to get moving if I want to make my flight. On my way back to my room, I decide to stop at the front desk in the hotel lobby. I'll arrange for hotel transportation to take me to the airport and will settle my invoice now to save time. To the right of me, I see this attractive woman in a dress and she's holding a Canadian passport. She is in tears and pleading with the hotel staff to let her upstairs to her room. The room is not under her name, I hear the hotel staff chide. This is when the alcohol consumption and my tolerance for injustice took hold. Almost all prostitutes are from eastern block countries or of Thai or Filipino descent in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Some of the higher class prostitutes I have encountered happened to be from Scandinavian countries; these women are difficult to distinguish as working girls and many have actual day jobs. Either way, this sobbing, pleading damsel in distress is not one. I decide to go on a three-minute straight, Kanye West-like rant with every other word being "fuck" or "fucking." The hotel manager and staff valiantly try to calm me down, pleading for me to watch my language. The gist of this tirade went a little bit like this: "This is fucking bullshit. You guys have some seriously fucked up rules. There should be an exception to every rule, and this is one of them. This woman is in tears, those are actual fucking tears! You all should be ashamed of yourself. She's no fucking Julia Roberts, she's not fucking getting a fucking academy award…"

So on and so forth until I was interrupted. The woman turned to me and said "Hey baby, I like you, I'll be waiting for you outside."

I without hesitation stop my rant and address this Canadian passport holding prostitute and say "You go ahead and wait outside. I'm going upstairs grabbing my shit and heading to the airport to fly my ass to France and eat some fucking foie gras. I'm getting the fuck out of this country."

She leaves and at this point I get a good look at the woman settling my bill, the nightshift manager who has been asking me to stop cursing for the last three minutes, the two beefy security guards, and all of the other hotel lobby staff as well. They are all looking at me like I am the biggest asshole they have ever seen.

5:20AM: Awkwardly walks through lobby on the way out of hotel; proceeds to wave and force unwarranted fist bumps with hotel staff.

TL;DR In my attempts to befriend, defend, and stand up for a helpless woman, I swallowed my words quicker and harder than ever previously experienced.


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