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 🙂
Renault’s Fernando Alonso scored a surprise success just when he most needed it, in one of the most eagerly anticipated Grand Prix in Formula One history, under the lights of Singapore on Sunday. And he owed much of it to team mate Nelson Piquet, whose crash on the 14th lap changed the face of the race.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa led from pole position from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, and Alonso dropped way back when he was the first to stop as the result of an aggressive opening stint. Then Piquet had his shunt and out came the safety car. Fourth-placed Robert Kubica for BMW Sauber and Williams’ Nico Rosberg both pitted before the pit lane was officially opened, and when it was on the 17th lap, Massa’s race fell apart as he led Hamilton, Raikkonen, Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and Toyota’s Timo Glock.
The green light within his cockpit told Massa he could restart, but the refuelling hose was still attached to his car. He knocked over a mechanic as the hose tore away, and fuel spewed everywhere. Subsequently he was given a drive-through penalty for another unsafe exit in front of the Force India of Adrian Sutil.
Kubica and Rosberg were given 10-second stop-and-go penalties. The Pole’s ruined his race, but Rosberg was able to keep in play even after serving his. In the pit stop shuffle Hamilton got delayed running behind Alonso, Rosberg, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, Giancarlo Fisichella (who had started from the pit lane after set-up changes on his Force India), and Mark Webber and David Coulthard in the Red Bulls. Eventually the British driver moved up to fourth behind Alonso, Rosberg and Coulthard, but he was losing a second a lap behind the Scot, and that was where his chance of winning evaporated.
Not even a second safety-car period, on the 51st lap after Massa spun and an unsighted Sutil crashed, could throw him a lifeline, but with Raikkonen crashing while fighting Glock for fourth place on the 58th lap, he could afford to settle for the six points that took his championship tally to 84 points, with Massa still on 77, Kubica 64 and Raikkonen 57. Equally, McLaren were able to move a point ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ chase.
Thus Alonso scored his first win since Monza 2007 and Renault’s first since Japan 2006, and Rosberg scored his best-ever finish after a fine drive. Behind Glock, Vettel fended off Nick Heidfeld for fifth, and Coulthard and Kazuki Nakajima completed the points scorers.
Jenson Button was ninth for Honda ahead of an unhappy Heikki Kovalainen, who lost out badly in a first-lap brush with Kubica as they fought over fourth place; the Pole was 11th from Sebastien Bourdais, the deeply unhappy Massa and Fisichella. Raikkonen was classified 15th.
Trulli failed to finish with a mechanical problem, as did Webber; Barrichello ran out of fuel in his Honda, and Sutil and Piquet both crashed.
With far more overtaking than the drivers had predicted, Formula One’s first-ever night race packed in plenty of excitement, and was adjudged a great success.
Imagine Hamilton bombing down the Esplanade drive , in Singapore, approaching 300km per hour. With no headlights. If you’re wondering what the first ever night F1 Grand Prix is going to be like, think bright. Very bright.
trail of lighting systems
New-age lighting equipment will bring daylight to the coming Singapore F1on the last weekend of September 2008.
Keith Collantine from F1 Fanatic UK reports about the the preparation Singapore has done at no expense spared:
Here are few pictures showing just how bright the lighting will be at the inaugual Singapore Grand Prix this weekend:
They’ve also tested out the lighting system that will be used for flag warnings:
Concerns have been expressed by drivers and fans about the safety of racing at night – but from these pictures it looks as though the race will be very well-lit.
According to the organizers the pit building is complete and resurfacing work on parts of the circuit has been completed.
The 2008 Singapore Grand Prix will be held on 26-28th September. It will be F1’s first night race and is expected to be followed by Malaysia in 2009 and possibly several other Asian circuits in the near future. The scheduled race will be held on the third day of the race weekend, September 28, 2008. The 5.067km long track is composed of technical high speed turns and long straights with lots and lots of overtaking points that will surely keep the crowd on their toes. The F1 Singapore Grand Prix will be first street race in Asia and is one of three races in the 2008 F1 calendar to run anticlockwise. The cars will run in down town Singapore along the garden city’s beautiful skyline and some historic places lit up for the night race.