I’ve been two years in the Middle East and I’ve not seen belly dancing. Where? Maine again… those county fairs have some crazy entertainment. There is a class put on by an authentic instructor. They did a few exhibitions. And I took the opportunity to get some images when I saw the demo class on the schedule. I can’t say I knew what to expect so it’s impossible to be critical. After you grab the usual group photos, you look for something more. What else? … a belly!I am told that this is one of the most religiously conservative cultures here. So unless you get behind the curtains (as in Victorian England) you ain’t gonna be seeing any bellies anytime soon. There are no illicit drugs and no alcohol. (so I’m told, again) A pre-op patient nervously told me he was an alcoholic. How many? …. two glasses of wine a night. Yeah! So far no sighting of any belly dancing round these parts in the Middle East.
One more story – we were recently cautioned about examining female patients inappropriately. This would be routine physical examination. To be sure we could do this by remote control or perhaps have the patients draw pictures for us. It was suggested that we don’t touch them. And when I operate on their back (ass right below, but discretely covered) should I keep my eyes covered as well. These are some laughable moments. But I certainly do not want to a guest of the local constabulary.
When I work out in the gym and pool at the hospital, the men’s locker room is constantly filled with women (all covered in abayas) traipsing through to wash hands or adjust some facial problem. Hey! It’s a men’s locker room! The standards do not swing both ways.
There’s also a medical school not far from here with two buildings labeled ‘men’ and ‘women.’ I imagine that the education is highly restricted and probably comical. But once again… go for it!