So, I’ve been going through the archives, weeding out the photos from Dubai that don’t make me look like a drunken spaz for the book (there aren’t many – they were difficult times), and I’ve found some absolute gems that I’d forgotten about! One of which is this.
These beautiful products were actually sold in the shop downstairs from my first office, in an area that consisted mainly of furniture stores and one gargantuan car park. This shop was the only place in walking distance that sold food and drink, plus other essentials like HUGE packs of sanny pads and neo CARE Arabic style shampoo. Well… at first I thought it was shampoo, but look a little closer and you’ll see, as I just did, that these aren’t shampoos at all. Not for the hair, anyway. They are Abaya Ghotra Cleaner. They are shampoos for clothing. I can’t believe I only just noticed this! I would have bought some. I’ve never seen any anywhere else… could have made a fortune flogging it at Bondi market.
It’s a little confusing though, because Arabic clothing is generally all black, or all white, and we KNOW those don’t mix at laundry time. Judging by the colours at the bottom of the labels, I can only assume that ‘Fair Nights’ is for black stuff, and ‘Al Mazuinah’ is for whites, but, ‘fair’ is a word for lightness, which suggests the product is designed for the complete opposite. I would be rubbish as a cleaner in an Arabic household. I would fuck it all up. With confuddling products like this at my disposal I’d be bleaching the sofa cushions and scrubbing someone’s pet white lion with window cleaner.
Thank God I was only employed as a writer.