Ever since the UK high commission announced yesterday that its expats in the UAE needed to be on high alert for a terrorist alert, I've been joking about how glad I am to be a Canadian. Because not being British, of course, makes me perfectly safe.
Only the British and Aussie governments have issued such a warning. Apparently the British embassy here has been phoning British people and actually telling them to be careful. A friend heard it on the radio and asked if I was going to be sticking around. (Like I have the nerve to announce to a roomful of hardened journalists that I am hightailing it back to Canada over some unspecified "threat")
I am not sure how one is to respond to this. How, exactly, should I take care to avoid a terrorist attack? Should I skip brunch at the British Club? Avoid The Captain's Arms at Le Meridian, where they serve really good fish and chips I have learned to like, though I had to get over my initial disappointment the green stuff was mushy peas and not tartar sauce? No lurking around the British Veterinary Clinic?
I have no idea how to be careful. I do know this is what terrorism is, isn't it? Making people scared of some vague, specified threat so they alter their lives and have trouble sleeping at night?
You could get hit by a car tomorrow (and in the case of Abu Dhabi's wide, six-lane boulevards, this is actually quite possible) so why worry? Plus, may I remind everyone the Brits are the reason we have to force all of our toiletries into an absurdly small plastic bag when boarding planes?