It’s very easy to know if I am on the Metro – I tweet. A lot. I think in any city, getting into the Metro always presents a chance to tell a story. There is always a story to tell, and being in the metro in Dubai is no exception.
On Sundays to Thursdays, a couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon (during rush hours), the Dubai Metro has two “women and children only” carriages however, there are so many complaints from commuters of men who seem to miss the signs. Now, the signs are bigger and bolder and it’s not just the yellow line inside, they changed it to this eye catching pink color, both the line and an added a full window poster.
A few days ago, I was on the Red Line on a rush hour in the evening. I was lucky to be able to get a seat in the women only carriage but saw that so many men are coming in. There used to be a Metro staff inside these exclusive carriages who call out these men to go out and transfer or else be slapped with a AED200 fine but lately, there’s no one.
My journey will take me about 20 minutes so while others are Candy Crushin, I closed my eyes. No tweeting today, I thought. After a few minutes, I hear the lady beside me speak in a very loud voice. (Did I mention, there’s always something to tweet??)
“What is your problem? Why are you staring at me like that?”
She directed it to one of the two men seated across us. There were many other men standing inside that women only carriage, especially there’s a big event at World Trade Center but she was only referring to that man across us.
“Do you want me to push this button?! I only need to push this button! (referring to the emergency button)
Now, the woman got everyone’s attention.
“Get up! You are sitting this is the ladies section!
The other man, a friend of that guy who was suspected with “staring” smiled. And the lady went for him too.
“Do you think this is funny, huh? What is funny?”
It was so awkward. The lady was really going at it and asked the two men to leave the carriage…the train was still moving.
As much as I wanted to know how that rife ended, I had to get down to my station. But REALLY? What would you do if you caught someone staring at you in a crowded, public space? Would you make a scene like that? I think I would be the one to leave. I need opinions. Discuss.
For anyone curious, the lady was not a local. She spoke Hindi over the phone earlier into our journey. She did not wear any scarf over her head or an abaya. The two men weren’t locals as well but I would guess Arab expats.