UAE, Here I Come

Posted: August 10, 2015 in My Silly thoughts, TransOceanic

                                         Day 1: Abu Dhabi

It was 9 in the morning and we three were still sleeping. With the curtains down, AC on I felt so pampered and loved for a minute. Then reality hit me, I was in freaking hot UAE.

Miss L said “you two ladies have fun, take her out” she said looking at Miss N. “show her around, after all she has come from so far, I don’t want you guys just to lie down on bed and talk like usually what you two do” saying see pulled the curtain back.

I looked at her and then at the scourging sun outside through the window. Sun rays look so hot I could feel their heat on my skin with mere look.

Miss L looked at Miss N and me “I hope that you both will do some site seeing”. Giving necessary instructions to Miss N, Miss L left for her work. I chuckled seeing my tour guide.

“So where you want to go SnL” Miss N asked me.

“Cant we just sit here in this room and goggle the images? It’s so hot outside I don’t want to go out”

hot

Miss N stared at me with open mouth in disbelief. “I can’t believe my ears you are saying this. You have come from India and all you want to do it sit back and google the images?”

“See outside, it’s so hot. I hate sun; I don’t want to die with sun stroke” I stick to my point.

“I am not going to listen to your crap, get ready your ass in 1 hour, we are going out” She dashed to the washroom barking her orders.

There we were after 1 hour covering out bodies, head to toe, walking towards bus stop in merciless hot sun. Shapeless building, fancy cars, clean road, gaping people I walked beside my tour guide wondering what made me come to UAE in this season.

“We are going to Abu Dhabi’s Marina mall, it’s at the dead end. Marine means water…” my guide went on without stop while I secretly wish to take a dip in that water she was talking about.

We boarded the crowded bus. Miss N digged her purse and put the coins in the box “That’s for ticket, you see it’s all systematic, there is no conductor”

When the bus stopped at our destination and automatic doors forced us to walk in the hot sun, again I felt like running back to Bangalore.

I was relaxed when we were inside the closed glass doors of Mall. It is highly impossible to survive in that excessive hot weather without AC.

“You know laborers work in this hot sun, imagine their situation. Especially Indians, Pakistanis”. Miss N said.

I was dumb stuck and my heart wept silently for the unfortunate people regardless of their nationality.

Time went by seeing never heard brands flaunting their accessories, infinite perfume counters.

“Want to go other side of the mall” My guide asked me.

“I am so bored, malls, brands, shops it’s all in Bangalore as well. Show me something new” I said politely

“Let’s go out and you will see and feel something which will kill all your so called “something new” thoughts”

“I am not going to leave these AC walls, trust me. I might never see my home, India” I stared at my guide

“Drama Queen” Miss N uttered.

Evening was nearing but sun seemed reluctant to move its ass from the place. It was time for Miss L to leave office. We three decided to visit “Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi”.

If you want to stop a taxi all you have to do is wave. You open the door, sit in the back seat and tell your destination, while drivers name, permit number displayed in the monitor. All you have to do is sit like a lady, relax while driver spins his car within speed limit towards you destination without arguing. This can never ever happen in India. I remembered Bangalore’s arguing auto driver and laughed out loud.

“This is called pineapple building because it’s in pineapple shape, this is tablet building” Miss N was still going on. I sat there in between of size M and size L gaping at the skyscrapers with open mouth like a country goose. Some buildings were so tall I had to lay my head on Miss L lap to see the other end.

When the Grand mosque distinct architectural image started to come into picture from distance we three were mesmerized by its beauty. Dressed in white it screamed its purity.

333

Covered in black hijab we climbed the steps leading towards the mosque. The art on pillars, roof, floors were exceptionally well carved. The tranquility I felt is something one needs to feel it, it’s beyond explanation. We spent some quality time there admiring the architecture. One more thing I like about this place is there were no boxes for money how usually they keep in church and temple.

Back from Mosque we were lying on the bed enjoying the artificial winter. I was busy eating my all-time favorite gummy bears.

Pack your bags SnL, soon you will see the never sleeping Dubai”. I closed my eyes trying to imagine how colorful it will be but all I could feel was hot sun..

“Have you ever seen a Pathan, SnL?”

“You mean to say men in plane 3/4 salvar , loafers in their feet and long beard. Like how Khaled Hosseini described them in “Kite Runner?”.

“Exactly, today I am going to show Pathan to you”.

As we walked towards the waiting Pathan taxy Miss L slowly pointed towards a man in once upon a time white color 3/4 salvar and said  “see he is Pathan. Listen to him, the language he is conversing is Pashtun”. I stared at him taking in all information.

Pathan was driving his old car like Ferrari in formula one race after sometime, while my tour guide was scaring the shit out of me with desert people getting lost in desert stories. I was just dozing off when the old car came to dead stop in middle of nowhere.

We got down from the car “this is because all SnL’s presence” .Miss L said.

“It never happened with me, but mere presence of SnL and look where we are”. Miss N added the fuel. I smiled not caring their comments. Middle of nowhere or heart of city, desert or heaven, with people you care, love beside you nothing is boring.

Almost-full-moon was gaping at us from the darken sky. Speeding fancy cars in “Dubai-Abu Dhabi” high way is something else makes your goose bumps go visible.

After boarding another taxi I closed my eyes to imagine how Dubai will be?

When taxi finally came to halt “SnL this is Ibn Battuta station. He was a Moroccan explorer, travelled whole UAE on camel back,……” my tour guide started in her usual tone while I tried to remember the name

“Ibn Batura like Channa Batura?” I said

Miss L chuckled and said “Its not batura, its Battuta”

“like that Hindi song “ibn me tuta” so Ibn batuta” Miss N contributed.

For a person who had spent 5 years in Bangalore memorizing names like ” Kundanhalli, Konappana Agrahara, Marathahalli” “Ibn Batuta” sounded French.

“Metro is common transport, it connects one end of the city to other, there are 2 lines red and green”. It looked like Miss N and Miss L were trying to prepare me for the Dubai’s Entrance exam.

“See this where green joins red, its called union…”Miss N said.

“I know what Union is” saying I gave her one of my cute smile

“For this and all you are not less” Miss L grumbled.

We boarded the metro and somehow managed to push the other passenger and grab the seat. After few stations the metro was jam packed.

“It’s like Mumbai, so crowded, there is no space. I don’t like it, I like my Bangalore metro.”

“In Mumbai short people are lost in tall people’s armpit, but it’s not like that here. It’s better than that” Miss N justified.” And it’s not “your metro”, its “namma Metro” she corrected.

With every minute I spent in DUBAI I was able to see reality and I didn’t like it. It might look fancy and money planet but life there is not easy. Systematic it might look through but it’s hard. If you have your relatives, friends there then you can escape from the boredom or else you are doomed to rot in your own company.

“This SnL, this is the media city, ….see you can see Burj Khalifa……see there” With my tour guide  going on I tried to move my eyes in whichever direction she pointed her finger with open mouth

I was tired seeing the crowd, sitting on never ending metro, listening to my guide. I thought my head is going to explode taking in all information.

When finally we got down from the metro I took a deep breath

“We have to catch one more metro, the green line, which is underground….”Miss L went on while I followed her with Miss N wondering which corner of the Dubai I am going.

In that overcrowded metro’s ladies compartment with different nationalities for a person like me who likes to watch people, their attire, imagining my next character for a story, journey looked tiring but interesting. Thick box shaped eyebrows, plaited brown hair, heavily painted lips, neon color nail paint, silky long hair, pointed heels, new skate board in hands for their kids, coconut oiled hair. I also got know that there is something called as “nationality smell”. Philippines smell weird because they eat everything half boiled, while Indians smell like spices because they eat spices. I got the tutoring on identifying the smell as well.

Metro stopped and Miss L shouted “Move SnL, move , be quick” I started walking out while people started to walk in. It was like going against water current. With fear of getting lost in the crowd I pushed everyone with all my might.

“This is Abu Hail” Miss L said

“Which is the first station name SnL?” My guide was demanding for an answer.

“My ass” I screamed. “I don’t think I like UAE, it’s so crowded, it’s so hot. I feel sorry for all who shed their sweat and blood in this foreign land”

“Relax SnL, it’s your first day, you will take time to adjust..”

I followed Miss N and Miss L silently lost in my thoughts, crossing roads, passing AC bus stops, super market, and meat stall. When finally we entered the house it felt like heaven.

With Multitalented boy from Dubai(MBFD)’s warm welcome with broad smile, loving hug I finally try to relax.

“Welcome to Dubai SnL” MBFD said with a broad smile.

“Thank you, but please don’t say anything more than that. I am tired listening to my tour guide and your sister. I feel sorry for all people who work here, who travel in that crowded metro. It’s not easy, it might look easy….”

“Relax SnL, it’s not that bad, it’s just weather which is getting into your nerves. You will take some time to adjust..”

“I don’t want to adjust, I am happy in Bangalore” I interrupted Miss L in middle

“Take this wine, it will help you to calm your nervous” Miss L said handing me the glass.

I smelled the wine for a minute like a professional and took a sip

“The gulf fragrance, the money, the goodies our loved one get from here make dream big about gulf. One visit to this land and you know the reality”.

6 eyes looked at me.

“Wine is talking” One said

“She is not coming back for sure” other said

“Just drink the wine SnL” the last one said

I could hear the mockery in their tone but I was too occupied with my thoughts to care. I felt sorry for all my countrymen working in that foreign land, who sacrifice everything for their family

“It’s not easy, working here. People back at home say he works in Dubai, he can afford anything. It’s so crowded, it’s so hot, and accommodation is so expensive, I just wonder how people work here. I feel sorry for all who shed their sweat and blood in this foreign land. Its not easy money, its blood shed money, we don’t even think twice before burning it……..My dad was in gulf, poor guy, I feel sorry for my old tiger”.

“For god sake SnL drink wine and shut the f**** up”

“I feel sorry for you tooo.” I said

Miss L blinked in her signature look and said “hold your breath till you see Dubai Mall tomorrow”

I drained my glass wondering what more Dubai has in store for me

                                                                                                                                To Be Continued

 

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