Funny thing happened this morning. After going round and round trying to find a parking space I rapidly grabbed all my stuff and ran towards the office.
On my way up to the 24th floor, the elevator stopped and a local man walked in. He looked at me and I could sense something wasn't exactly right. I followed his stare and saw it landed on my hand or, more precisely, on my keychain.
At first I thought I was just being paranoid. After all, it’s not like he was staring for hours. He looked and turned around. That was it. But then I looked at my keychain again and remembered my keychain is actually a pig. So, I guess there really is a slight possibility he might have felt a little uncomfortable…
Why? Well, Muslims are not really big fans of pork. They do not handle or eat it in any shape or form. The first and foremost reason for this is the fact that it is actually stated in the Holy Quran they should not do so. In addition, they consider the pig a very filthy and dirty animal.
Most restaurants and supermarkets will sell only halal (permissible to use or engage according to Islamic law) products. However, since the UAE is a very tolerant country, there are ways around it for expats who are desperately in need of some pepperoni in their pizza or some crispy bacon for breakfast.
If you look carefully you will notice separate rooms, usually located in the very far end of some supermarkets, marked ‘for non-Muslims only’. This, my friend, is code for ‘pork lover paradise’. Whatever bacon-related product you want you will most certainly find here.
Restaurants, for the most part the 4 or 5 star ones located in hotels, will sometimes include pork in their chef’s creations. Any dishes containing pork ingredients will be prepared separately and will also be clearly highlighted on the menu.
Anyway, the thing is, paranoid or not, I better say goodbye to my piggy. I guess it’s time to replace it for a less controversial keychain…