Friday, May 8, 2015

Of Travels and Destinations - Dubai Part III

Within three hours of landing in Dubai, I was at the mall and in the make up store. It's easy to explain why: I needed to buy makeup. Why the urgency? Simple, because I had none. And the reason I had hardly any makeup was because on a similar getaway trip to Dubai I had made in the first weekend of April, the airline had lost my luggage. 

The airline has still not officially declared the luggage as lost. They are hoping to find it so they are spared making the compensation payment (which is peanuts....I mean, how can they put a price on the emotional attachment I had with my stuff? sniff! sniff!). I've kind of gone through all the stages involved in losing a piece of luggage; denial, more denial, hope, anger, frustration (usually involves the question, why me?), resignation, sliver of hope and finally, acceptance. 

Living in Downtown Dubai (I almost wrote Downton...and I'm not even a fan!) is very convenient. Dubai Mall is just minutes away! And it has the answer to all your shopping needs, more or less. It certainly had the answer to my needs and once we were done with the much needed bathroom trip, we stepped out of the house, hailed a taxi and off we went to Dubai mall. Our driver was from Peshawar and as soon as we told him we were from Karachi he asked, MQM? It is at times like these that one feels like, well....anyone living in this city would know what one feels like when asked this question.

So this taxi driver, Faiyaaz, was living and working in Dubai for the past 17 years. He told us how the entire Downtown area was all a desert wasteland and now they had made it into this concrete wonderland. We chit chatted about Pakistan, Karachi, Peshawar, etc and in under ten minutes, he deposited us at the mall entrance and refused to take money from us. You are our guests here, he said, politely shaking his head. We shook our heads too, politely thanked him for his gesture, made a small speech on how we couldn't rob him of his livelihood, handed him the money and stepped out of the taxi.

In all my trips to Dubai over the past five years I've never met a taxi driver who refused to take money from me. The gesture was very sweet and it gave me a bit of hope. There are still people out there who think from their heart, and are sentimental of sorts. There is good in this world and if you're good too, there is no reason why you won't run into some goodness now and then!

Dubai is a perfect example of how so many different people from different parts of the world can live in one place. I'm going to hold onto this thought for a bit and talk about it in detail in later posts. Meanwhile, in Travel and Destinations part IV: my detailed conversation with another taxi driver to find out the truth about why Pakistani taxi drivers harass Pakistani clients.