Sunday, September 4, 2011

Designer booze for the discerning royal

I'm going to recount a little anecdote to take my mind off the fact that the accounts department for my main employer seem to think it's perfectly fine to pay me five days (and counting) late.

It's a cultural thing.  My pay needs to approved by one of the company owners and he's been away, as have many people, for the Eid break. Far be it from the accounts dept to bother working ahead, as we do in the UK at Christmas/bank holidays/to make sure we get paid on time or, indeed, bother to contact the boss themselves to make sure it goes through or even let me know that my pay might be late. No, better to wait until I discover said pay still hasn't arrived in my bank account and get on the phone grumpier than a troll with ant bites on its arse and then get me to chase around after said boss because of course I have nothing better to do with my time such as getting on with work/ranting on this blog.

This is one of those many points in life in the UAE when it's best to take a deep breath and remind yourself that this country is just under 40 years old and therefore there are, of course, fewer efficient systems in place to make sure that life as we in the West know it runs smoothly and that we just have to live with it and appreciate the lack of rain instead.

Anyhoo. On with the anecdote

My best beloved was about to clock off from work this morning when a High Up Important Airport Person sashayed into view saying: "A female member of the royal family of a state which doesn't totally ban drinking but doesn't encourage it which shall remain nameless (that's not exactly how he put it, obviously, but you get my point) would like to buy a bottle from you."

"Rightio, then, send the old duck in," quoth he (why do people become cockney in mind's eye? Is it because my mother was born within earshot of the Bow Bells? Who knows?)

"She would like to buy a bottle of Chivas Alexander McQueen and will send her representative shortly," said the High Up Important Person.

For the unitiated, this is bog standard Chivas but in a limited edition and in a bottle which was one of the last things designed by the late Mr McQueen.   A picture of said bottle can be seen here

"Gor blimey, strike a light, send them in, then, the Missus is waiting outside the airport revving Kevin the Toyota to take me home and I went to get out of here sharpish,"  he chuntered. Well, that's an approximation of what he chuntered. Knowing him it was probably some really polite chuntering.

"Nyes.  It would be better if you had a bag with no labelling," pointed out the High Up Important Person.

It's a funny old world, isn't it?  A member of a royal family hiding their booze inside a plain package like a park drinker with a bottle in a brown bag.  Well that's me distracted, I'm off to count the 33dirhams I currently have to my name. Oh, such riches are to be found in the Middle East! I'm teetering on a pile of oil cash, here, you know.

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