x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Calendar was a welcome bonus

A reader thanks us for the 2012 calendar included in last Thursday's paper. Other letter topics today: Postal service problems, the Lokpal bill, Groupon's problems, and eating in New York.

A calendar featuring the best work of National photographers, including this photo of a training session at Meydan Racecourse, was appreciated by a reader as a memento of life in the UAE. Andrew Henderson / The National
A calendar featuring the best work of National photographers, including this photo of a training session at Meydan Racecourse, was appreciated by a reader as a memento of life in the UAE. Andrew Henderson / The National

Sometimes it feels as if the UAE's postal service has ground to a halt.

There are too few post offices and letter boxes.

An important letter that I sent to Abu Dhabi from Dubai has not arrived, after 15 days.

When I came to the UAE 32 years ago, the postal service was the only way to stay in touch with families, and it delivered a letter to Pakistan in less than a week.

I know that only the foolhardy write letters when email and phone services are available, but the postal service is not a business. It is a community service and should run well even if it loses money.

K Hayat, Dubai

Mother-in-law woes universal


I was amused by the letter in which a woman asked for advice about a meddlesome mother-in-law (Ask Ali, M magazine, December 31).

The woman was British, married to an Emirati. But there's nothing about mother-in-law problems that is culture-specific; this is a standing source of material for comedians - and psychiatrists - all around the world.

My own mother-in-law is not bad at all, but the stories some of my friends tell are just awful.

I can only wish patience and good luck to the woman who wrote the letter.

Lee Persoja, Abu Dhabi

BJP played games with Lokpal bill

Much to the disappointment of the Indian people, the much debated bill on the Lokpal (anti-corruption ombudsman) could not be passed by the parliament.

The government had presented a fairly good bill but did not have the required numbers in the upper house. The main opposition, the BJP, sought to introduce a number of amendments not acceptable to the government. So the nation yet again lost an opportunity to get a Lokpal.

Here the BJP's role is questionable.

It is now abundantly clear that it tried to align itself with the social activist Anna Hazare in favour of a "strong ombudsman" only as a pretext to keep using the ruling party as a punch bag for political gains.

I hope that in the forthcoming elections in five states, the BJP will pay a heavy price for its opportunistic and obstructionist attitude.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Keep complaints in perspective

I read the article Complaints pile up as Groupon fails to deliver (December 29) twice. It seems that there have been complaints from about 100 customers.

To me that is very few, relative to the number of Groupon users. Let's keep this in perspective.

Remember, we also live in a country where customer service standards are low. How often do we get angry with the way we're treated by banks, retailers, restaurants, real estate agents and utilities?

Name withheld by request

'Invasion' headline went too far

Was your headline Israeli army plans new invasion of Gaza (December 30) something of an overstatement?

The story quotes a senior Israeli officer saying a new invasion will come "sooner or later" which could be interpreted as nothing but bluster. The headline made it sound like there was a firm plan for imminent action.

Rob Lyman, US

Calendar will be year-long pleasure

Thank you for the 2012 calendar which was included with The National on December 29. You have some fine photographers on your staff.

I scrounged a couple of extra copies of the calendar from neighbours who for some reason didn't want it, and will send these to friends who used to live here but have moved away. They will, I hope, enjoy it all year long.

Brooke Greene, Abu Dhabi

Let's go to NY for a good meal

As a former New Yorker, I was made homesick by Gastronaut free-for-all (December 31) about the vast range of ethnic and novel foods available in New York City.

I used to love going to Chinatown, or Park Slope or almost anywhere, and finding new-to-me little diners and restaurants and even food carts. Not every meal I found this way was great, but many were. Time for a trip home pretty soon, I think.

Patrick Malone, Dubai

That article about New York food was disgusting.

Some of the dishes sounded good, but beaver tails and chicken gizzards are not something I want to read about over my (normal) breakfast.

Graham Carns, Dubai