Two classic Dubai moments you may recognise
There are some moments in life when you are a Dubai Expat that are truly unique Dubai moments.
Many of them don’t mean a thing to people who have never lived here.
If you tell the stories at dinner parties, you’ll often end the story with a bit of a ‘cricket chirping’ moment. Everyone wants to laugh but no-one understands what you are talking about.
If you are at a table of Dubai expats however, there will be riotous laughter and countless examples added as everyone share’s their stark realities.
Let me share a couple of recent moments with you.
People in Dubai are always running late
It’s a well-known phenomenon that people in Dubai will be late to most things.
We were invited to dinner last week to somewhere we weren’t familiar with.
There is always a slight sense of anxiety that accompanies this kind of invitation as you know it’s highly likely that if you are driving, you will be at least 10 minutes late (Check out my Dubai driving and Traffic stories for a bit of background.)
Issues like – Does the GPS know where it is? What’s the best exit to take to try to avoid the traffic? Will there be parking nearby for under 50AED? Is it worth all this anxiety when most likely, I won’t even be able to get a glass of bubbles to settle my nerves upon arrival?
Regardless, we set off last Thursday feeling somewhat uneasy at the new destination we’d been invited to attend.
- First issue – it wasn’t in the GPS
- 2nd issue – Thursday night TRAFFIC
- 3rd issue – we missed the driveway
- 4th issue – no on-street parking
On their own, none of these things is a huge deal.
Combined, they can be catastrophic to an evening out and usually account for most people in Dubai arriving at virtually everything at least 10 minutes late.
oh yeah… we’re all over this town…
On this occasion, we were lucky.
Google maps found the place and we half-knew where we were aiming for. We picked the right exit of SZR and were actually in motion for most of the half hour of ‘short cut’ driving the back-way to get into the dinner area.
Then, there was the driveway.
Now normally, when you miss a driveway/turn/exit in Dubai, it’s all over. You can automatically add at least 20kms to your journey to try to get back. One this night though, we were truly blessed – it was a simple 5 minute round-the-block trip to get back to the driveway.
We were high-fiving and cheering our way into that driveway.
And then…. ta daaaaah. The nirvana of all Dubai eateries. Restaurant valet parking!
There was the small inconvenience of a row of cars, all with the keys left in and running, lined up out the front of the restaurant. We were momentarily conflicted whether to join the back of the queue and do the same feeling the Aussie guilt of leaving your car unattended and running in a public place.
Only momentarily though when we looked at our watch and saw we were actually going to make dinner on time.
A complete Dubai record!
The couple we were meeting were a mere 5 minutes behind us AND they got stuck in traffic! That basically counts for a perfectly executed Dubai evening out. I think we’re starting to adjust to this place…
Taxi driver animosity
I guess most cities have issues with taxi drivers. Dubai it seems, especially so.
Sometimes it feels like they’ve been plucked out of some country where no-one actually drives cars, put in their taxi and told “go forth and wreak havoc”.
And they certainly know how to do that.
But there are some unwritten understandings that you learn quickly about taxis. Generally, the code is that taxi drivers will:
- never let you merge
- cut you off where ever possible
- drive as close to the speed of sound as possible
- always be “new and not really know where that is”
So everyone constantly beeps at them, swears at them, shakes fists out windows and bands together to make sure they know their place on the highway totem pole.
So the other day when I was attempting to pull out from a stationary position to join the traffic, I hardly even noticed when the taxi behind me started beeping like crazy and waving his arms around.
Then, when he nearly wiped out my back bumper to get past me, I assumed he was just in a rush.
However, when he slammed his breaks on in front of me and jumped out and started screaming, I figured he must have been a little more upset than usual about something. He was (I think) accusing me of having backed into his car(?)
Next thing I know, this guy walking along the side of the road comes running over.
Being from Australia, I assumed he had come to offer his details as a witness and immediately thought “oh man… I’m done for”.
One of the awesome Dubai moments…
What happened next was such a Dubai moment, I still chuckle thinking about it.
This guy, heavy-set with spiky bleached hair, ripped jeans and big muscles starts running at the taxi driver and screaming at him.
“What the &^$% is your problem man? Can’t you see this is a woman with kids in the car? Do you feel like a big man do you, scaring this nice lady? You’re a piece of ^&*%… *&^$^#^%&(*&)&)*&*&%^%$^
This went on for quite some time, with the taxi driver yelling back in equal obscenities.
Then the guy stops mid-yell to turn around and quietly say to me “it’s ok sweetie.. take the kids and off you go” before he turns around, arms waving and starts screaming again.
So I pop the car into drive and cruise away.
The funniest thing… I am completely and totally calm.
If this happened a year ago, I would have been in floods of tears. I probably would have headed straight home for a stiff drink and a counselling session with Lovely Hubby.
But on this day, I simply cruised away with the full comfort that I had done nothing wrong and that my bleached muscly angel was handling it for me.
A complete and total Dubai moment.
Two examples of many…
These are just two short examples of some of the endless story fodder Dubai provides.
I can think of a hundred more Dubai moments, but I really just don’t know if they are remotely entertaining to the non Dubai-initiated.
Like and share if you’d like to hear more. If you’re a Dubai expat, feel free to leave a short sentence reminder of some good examples. Classic Dubai moments we can all share!
Have a great week everyone.