I’m writing this at 2:30 pm and it’s 44C (111F) in Dubai right now. I am writing this at the comfort of an airconditioned room, perfectly comfy, not breaking a single sweat. I drove today to the office in my usual route and passed by a group of Pakistani men (you can tell they’re Pakistani by their clothes) who sit under the shade of the tree outside, waiting. They are truck drivers (movers) who wait day in and day out for customers. Beside them is a water cooler to cool them off.
They are there, every day, whatever the weather, all year long.
At this heat and humidity, it’s like we are practically being steamed alive. It’s unbearable to spend even 5 minutes outside, even in the shade and these men spend the whole day, squinting their eyes at the glaring sun, wiping off sweat and drinking water.
I’ve been desperately wanting to take a picture of them so I can show you. But once I did, parked my car near them and voila! I fee like a celebrity attacked by paparazzi – all of them jumped out their small, wooden chairs and circled my car, tapping the window saying: “Only 200 madam” or “No, no, 180 madam” says the other. They thought I was customer, a typical Dubai expat; someone who would want things transported from one place to another, wanting to hire their trucks.
I was not able to take any photo as I want them to be in their original places when I click the camera – chilling out in the hot sun, sitting, talking, waiting. I’ve asked them to please go sit back as I don’t want a truck but a photo of them but alas, only few of them speak English plus, they have no clue why I would want their picture!
I also want to ask them questions, pat their backs for continuing to strive through unthinkable circumstances just to send money home for their families but now, all I can do is wish they’d get more customers in the cooler months so they wouldn’t have to stay outside for hours on a hot, hot day.