I met up for a couple of cocktails last night with a galpal who’s just back from a holiday in Dubai. Which reminded me of an embarrassing little incident that happened to me once when I was out there.
I was staying with a friend but, as she had to do some work while I was visiting, she left me at the beach – the sun as my babysitter – with strict instructions that I shouldn’t go topless or cause any culturally-offensive disasters. DULY NOTED.
I’m not in this photo ‘cos I nicked it off the internet
I behaved myself impeccably – kept my boobs covered the whole time – and, after a while, decided to award my boob-covered good behaviour with something refreshing from the local deli, The Lime Tree Café.
So, throwing my sundress on over my bikini, I crossed from the beach to the main road. Opposite me stood the impressive Grand Jumeirah Mosque to one side and the café to the other. At the zebra crossing a queue of local Arab drivers kindly stopped to let me cross.
HOWEVER, halfway over the zebra crossing I felt the unmistakable panic anyone who’s ever worn a string bikini has felt as the bows take on a life of their own, stage a revolution and begin to untie.
As I reached the other end of the zebra crossing I turned, knowing EXACTLY what I would see.
Sure enough my bikini bottoms had left their intended home (my body) and were sat in their new home (the middle of the road).
Lanes of cars were waiting each side of the crossing to continue on their journeys.
I turned around and – as casually as humanly possible – walked with my eyes straight ahead and my head held high over to where the bottoms lay brazenly for all to see. I leant down – still casual, casual (nothing to see here!) – and grabbed the offending little bit of material off the tarmac – careful not to bend over too far, pantless – and scuttled off, feeling all the drivers’ eyes on me in disbelief.
Think I had an extra large slice of cake to numb the shame
I’m not sure if by saying “don’t do anything culturally-offensive” my friend had meant “don’t let your bikini bottoms fall off in front of one of the biggest mosques in the city”. I assume she did, sadly.