Dubai honesty

One of the things I love about Dubai is the level of trusting honesty you often encounter, usually from people who have very little money.

It’s quite normal for a shop owner or laundryman or taxi driver to let you disappear to get cash or to let you pay the next time. The sums involved are usually very little for me but a lot for them.

Today I filled up the Patrol, but didn’t have any cash. Filling up (it has two tanks, in case I hadn’t mentioned that before) cost 215Dhs, but the ATM in the petrol station wasn’t working. (You can’t use credit cards at petrol stations any more, which is infuriating).

Marlon the ‘pump boy’ let me drive off to find cash with a simple ‘please come back sirrr’. I came back ten minutes later and gave him a tip for his kindness, which he seemed amazed by.

What if I hadn’t come back? It would have been easy for the police to track me down eventually. There’s no question that I wouldn’t have ended up having to pay and I would clearly have got in a lot of trouble if I’d just driven off and not come back. That wouldn’t have helped Marlon though – I am sure that he’d have been held responsible and been forced to make up the missing 215 dizzles from his own pocket, which would probably have been forgotten if I’d been found and made to pay later.

I am typing this from ‘Computer Plaza’, sitting in a cafe waiting for my mobile to be fixed. The shop fixing my phone has already fitted 150Dhs worth of new memory to my laptop – the only security is my outdated, three year old BlackBerry which I left with them for fixing fixing. Quite frankly, it’s not worth anything and it could have been something I’d just left with them in order to get away with not paying for my memory upgrade.

This is how things should be – trusting that people will pay what they owe and that the service being rendered will be done properly. I like it.


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