In our first few weeks in Abu Dhabi we spent many evenings with my co-workers eating out and seeing various sights. One such evening found us meeting for coffee at the Emirates Palace hotel, a luxury hotel on the beach of Abu Dhabi. This hotel is paradoxically both ostentatious and classy. You feel rich just walking in.
When it came time to order drinks Amy had a cosmopolitan and I had a cappuccino, but not just any cappuccino. I opted for the Emirates’ Cappuccino. They offered a basic cappuccino for AED30 ($8.17 US), but the Emirates’ Cappuccino was AED50 ($13.61 US). I figured that for an extra AED20 they must be using better beans, or steamed milk, or whipped cream. You know… it had to be a better cappuccino.
It was a very good cappuccino indeed. Heck! It even came with real gold-leaf flakes on top of it.
Tony, on the other hand, opted for the AED30 cappuccino. Ah yes, Tony the cheapskate. I guess he got what he paid for.
If only that were the case. Reality is that Tony is intelligent. He asked the waitress the difference prior to ordering and it turns out the joke is on me. You see, the ONLY difference between my Emirates’ Cappuccino and his basic one was the gold-leaf flakes. In fact, his had chocolate flakes on top. I wager his was a bit more tasty than mine with gold-leaf flakes.
Little did I realize that this gold-leaf facade on my cappuccino would be analogous to many things I’d later discover here in Abu Dhabi.