Nothing about me has changed. As soon as I make a to-do list, I take the time to do things like this.
I started writing this post a while ago, but stopped because I realized that I wasn’t exactly sure what I was trying to say. Everything in my life felt messy for a moment, and I suppose I was trying to vent, but I do not enjoy public…ventilation?, so I deleted it. My mind and eyes are wide open to everything that is new around me, and believe me, there is an abundance of newness present. I’m not just foreign, I feel foreign, which is something new for me.
On to something new. I’ve been going to job interviews for the last few weeks, which has entailed daily journeys between the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah. The distance between the two should only take about 15 minutes, but because of the traffic, it can take up to 3 hours, specially while returning from Sharjah during peak hours. Because this country does not believe in an actual system of public transportation, and I am sans vehicle, I have been taking taxis. I’m sure you all can just imagine the joyful expression on the face of a Sharjahtaxi driver when, after hailing him, I divert eye contact and say ”to Dubai, please!” Like a small child ordered to do his chores, he whimpers and carries on. The first time this happened, the taxi driver and I were stuck together for 3 and 1/2 hours. After the second hour, he turned to look at me and pointed his pinkie finger toward the roof of the car. I couldn’t help but to squint my eyes in question. Understanding that I was confused, he said, “do you know what this means?” I confirmed my confusion. “It means I need to go to toilet, too much water I drink. Okay with you Sirji?” (the taxi driver was a nice pakistani chap) Of course, I would not deny him personal relief, so we pulled over at some sort of automotive shop. I decided not to ask about the pinkie, and store the gesture in my mind for future reference.
The small whimper and complaint I receive from Sharjah taxis is not what I have experienced from Dubai drivers. If I tell him my destination before actually placing myself in the taxi, he will drive away quickly, leaving me to continue frying in the sun. I think I have finally mastered the situation, though. The first step is to place self in taxi and close door before any communication. Then, break the news about the future you will share. The other day I did this, and the driver told me, “no, get out.” After some pleading, he still refused. I politely told him that I was not moving. We sat in silence, parked against the curb for 10 minutes, until finally I said, “listen, I’m not getting out, and I truly don’t mind sitting here for as long as it takes.” At that moment, he reluctantly forced his way into the traffic. I WIN.
When, I tell you that the traffic is bad, I feel that some of you may think I’m exaggerating. I googled “Dubai Traffic” and found a photo that documents perfectly my commute:
Sophisticated cities have sophisticated public transportation. COME ON DUBAI! …. well after all dubai is one place that has been on the front of human development for many years but this is one area i hope they do something about pretty soon.
coming back to the point that i had delayed this writeup for long … well it was another incident in Mumbai that made me situp n think. I was supposed to catch a train from LTT Kurla at 9:50pm and left Kandivali at around 5:15pm, i still missed the train. O|O … i know people have been raising too many eyebrows… i reached the station that day at 10.30pm … of course i should have assumed that the train had left but … 😐
well i guess we can jus say that the whole world … be it Hi Tech Dubai or our very own Amchi Mumbai … traffic is something mankind is yet to control 🙂