kookie in dubai - tales in the desert city

Thursday, November 9

The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round...

I decided to catch a bus the other day. In Dubai that's a strange concept. Firstly white people are rarely seen standing at the bus stop and secondly, as a woman there are only four seats available to you. Confused? So am I.

You go to the bus stop and wait with all the other people. The bus pulls up and you go to get on and there are eight women sitting in the first four seats. These seats are designated for women only. How nice and polite I thought...how cavalier...how old fashioned...how weird.

However the bus was full and those seats were already occupied by other women so I kept walking down the aisle in the aim of standing up and holding on. People started looking at me and then a women yelled out to me that I had to get off the bus because it was full. I looked around and to my untrained eye the bus still had plenty of standing room. I followed this woman and got off the bus, blushing, because I felt I'd committed some sort of crime.

The kind lady explained to me that women are only allowed to sit in the first four rows and are not allowed to stand on the bus. So when the four seats are full, bad luck, you have to wait for another bus. Even if it's 45 degrees outside.

I looked around me, there were at least 15 women waiting. I stood there feeling like an idiot, then did what every Euro expat here does - hailed a taxi.