Fine for falling asleep on Dubai trains!?

Have you slept on a train? I have and I am sure plenty of other people have too. Who doesn’t love taking cat naps or even hour long naps on long train journeys?

I think of Japan whenever I hear the words, “sleeping on train” because they take sleeping in a whole new different level, especially on late Friday nights.

~ not dead, just probably really drunk ~

And then there are people who look really tired.

If you have a habit of sleeping on the train, a word of caution: don’t do it at the Dubai Metro. News has broken that sleeping on the Dubai metro could cost you a Dhs 300 fine!

I really wish this is a huge joke!

What has come to their minds in imposing such ridiculous law? The news article is vague, as always:

The general rule, however, states that a Dh300 fine will be slapped for “sleeping in the waiting areas, shelters or any place where it is prohibited”. Asked why people get fined for sleeping on the train, an RTA official gave a slightly different definition: “It is the rule ‚Ķ [no] sleeping in the waiting areas, shelters or any place in a public transport environment. Fine will be Dh300”.

I hope when the new day unfolds tomorrow, this news article is edited to add, “Sorry for the misinterpretation. Use the Metro, sleeping is allowed.”

What do you think of fining people who sleep on trains? (Stupid, I know…)

More education needed in Dubai Metro’s Priority Seat

I was traveling by train a few days back with Pristine. She had a heavy back pack, was tired from an activity she attended and me, well, I am pregnant which immediately, automatically equals fatigued. We chose the ladies only car in the train though it was full because I was hopeful someone would give one seat at least for me – women would know the pains of pregnancy, right?

WRONG.

[Top Photo Credit]

Not one moved a muscle. Some pretended to sleep, others were busy chatting, talking on their phones or staring into space – just generally going about with their individual lives to mind a standing prego. I know I could have said something but was afraid to make a scene? Pristine and I moved to the ‘mixed gender’ car part of the train, immediately, two men stood up for us.

Even at 36 weeks heavy, I think I am a pretty self-sufficient prego. I still drive, do the groceries, WORK 6 days a week and do the usual stuff. But on a train after a long day? I expect people to be more sympathetic. I would like to sit down.

When we changed trains though, no one bothered – men, women, everyone cared for their butts more than my elephant feet. The train was full because it’s a weekend. I stood near a man who permanently looked away. I gave hints. Nothing. Ah, to these men who don’t give up their seats to pregnant ladies, may your balls be a hundred times heavier when you get off the train!

By the way, here’s the priority seat sign inside one of the trains in Japan.

Apparently in Japan, you have to give up your seat even to the brokenhearted*. LOL!

[Photo Credit]

* Kidding of course! The sign is for people having a pacemaker device installed in their heart.

If you are pregnant/elderly would you demand someone sitting in the priority seating section to give up their seat for you or would you just wait to be offered?

Dubai Metro Green Line opens

Four years ago, the nearby street where I work looked like this:

and the workers, toiled day and night, braving the fierce Dubai summer during the day.

It was dust, noise, a lot of detours and traffic this past four years. But now, it is done. (Below photo taken September 12, 2011)

The construction of the elevated train rails in 2007/2008 was a sight I thought would stay forever.

Two years since the opening of the first train system in Dubai (the Dubai Metro Red Line) in September 9, 2009, the Green Line was inaugurated last Friday and was open to the public last Saturday, 10th September 2011. Of course, I had to get on it! There’s a Metro station near where we live – maybe a 15 minute walk away. Not ‘near’? I see it as a good morning exercise but not now, I’ll walk when the weather cools down! Luckily, there are buses going the stations so I used that.

Salahuddin Station is where I get down. I love how they painted it red – literally! Look!

A unique chandelier.

And something corded off – it’s beautiful.

Commuters are delighted with the opening of this new train line. I am happy that my commute to work time is only 10 minutes and I don’t have to drive (with a seat belt around my pregnant belly!) or wiggle through traffic anymore!

As the train pulled away, I thought: People who will come to Dubai from now on are so lucky. They don’t have to struggle with traffic, lack of buses, the crap public transport (even taxis were scarce), they won’t have to fight for a seat in the bus like what we have gone through in 2007 when we arrived.

I’ve written about those public transport nightmares before and cried and asked myself “What the hell am I doing here?” Those were dark times, dark times.

Anyway – here’s a short video of the train before it goes to its first underground station – Salahuddin Station in Deira:

When we arrived and Dubai was just starting to construct what would be the city’s solution to horrible public transport and heavy, choking traffic, we vowed we will not leave Dubai until we get on those trains!

I am glad we’re still here to witness and experience another milestone.

Teens and the Dubai Metro

cover ears

I took the Dubai Metro train yesterday going to Dubai Marina to attend an Iftar party sponsored by HP. HP Techies, if any of you are reading this, thanks so much for the invitation! It was my first Iftar party for this year’s Ramadan. I know Ramadan is just about ending so it made last night’s party more special. ūüôā

Anyway, back to the train story. I love taking the city’s new public transport. The trains are clean and it gets me to my destination fast, without traffic. I also like to stare blankly and think about random things while on the train, read a book or listen to a good music via my phone. It’s one of those precious little moments.

Sadly, there were three raucous teenagers in the same train.

Teenagers. Girls. Bored expat brats. One started bashing her mom.

“I was like, oh my God, mum was totally freaking out we’d be meeting boys at the mall! She’s so boring!”

“Oh shush, forget her, we’ll enjoy today!” *scream*

“I know! I woke up this morning and gosh, *scream* it’s the best morning of my life!”

*Scream some more*

Apparently, when you’re a teenager these days, meeting¬†a random boy you’ve met online would be the best morning of your life.

Non-teen passengers including myself, tired of the day’s work patiently sit through all the bitching, parent bashing and trashy boy talk. We close our eyes but unfortunately, can’t close our ears.

“You know that guy, the one I really, really went all the way?”

Apparently, these girls with booming voices, are all talking like they’re in their girl friend’s room while the parents are away, of course. One would think the words “public transport” weren’t taught in school. I would be happier if they know the meaning of “public” at all.

“Carl’s really cute. And tall! Gosh and he is so nice too. My mum will totally kill me for today!”

The shreiking and shaking of bodies enough to derail the train off continued. They didn’t even mind the disapproving glances from people who had to endure an hour with them in that enclosed train space.

“Are we there yet? Is this the Mall of the Emirates? Oh my God, how do I look?”

The teen with really big hair – curly and long, started to sway back her locks and batted her eyelashes. Of course, I never read my book nor listened to my music and the random thoughts?

I wish my daughter wouldn’t end up like any of these girls. Nothing like a new mission in life popping up at random public transport commute.

Smoking, eating or drinking, putting feet up on seats and chewing gum are all acts that could get you fined in the Metro. I wish this would be added too: LOUD TEENAGERS.

another road bites the dust

I had been taking the bus again these past few days because M is keeping the car for himself for his work. Their company has yet to provide him a car to use for his errands and kind as he is, he volunteered to use our car, for the meantime. Ugh, someone give this man a medal!

Anyway, the streets have changed again (WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE) to make way for the construction of the train platforms keeping the motorists confused and irritated. I had to walk for a good 20 minutes in the hot sun, I may add because my usual stop is gone and the bus had to go a bazillion more miles further even after I pressed the stop button. It’s still 8:30 am and the temperature is 31C. Horrible isn’t it. It’s October 20th already!

~ one of Dubai’s main roads, Salahuddin Street is closed for the Dubai Metro construction ~

But you know what? I actually feel the weather is cooling off….

Shucks, I just said 31C is cool for me. I must be crazy.

and I told myself never to live in New York

I thought the streets of New York has the most cars in the world. No, I haven’t been there but isn’t it like that in the movies? Meg Ryan was stuck in New York traffic in the movie Kate and Leopold, then there were¬†traffic scenes in Coming to America, Ghostbusters II, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Independence Day, Catch Me If You Can, just some of the few movies I remember.

While munching my popcorn a few years back, I promised myself never to live in New York, or in a place with crowded streets. I don’t do well with traffic and crowd control.

In reality, statistics show that there are more cars in Dubai streets at any given time than in New York! Ouch.

Dubai has about 541 vehicles per thousand population, which is higher than New York (444), London (345) and Singapore (111). And it doesn’t end there – Dubai’s statistical data showed that motor vehicles increased by an annual average of about 12 percent.

I so welcome the creation of mass transit system although it is creating massive traffic. Until then everyday I chant, this too shall pass, this too shall pass…

the big blue book

Our new company implemented a way to stop dramatic entrances by  putting a log book in the reception area where employees need to sign once they arrive.

No big deal but the catch? The log book is only available until 8:40 am. If you arrive at 8:41, you’ll have to carry on, bring¬† your tardy self to face the HR manager.

This is not exactly good news to me especially now that I have been coming 5-10 minutes late because the roads in my area changes overnight almost on a daily basis! While stuck in traffic, I always tell myself “all these construction and discomforts are for a better Dubai” but with the log book issue at the office, I couldn’t care for the betterment of Dubai blah anymore. All I know is that I have to get myself before 8:40 am no matter what – – the HR manager’s face is not something I want to see to start my day!¬†

tracking the progress

I know I could post this for Wordless Wednesday but I just can’t keep myself wordless when I saw this:

countdown-to-dxb-metro.jpg

I took this March 1, 2008. This is a countdown to the completion of one of Dubai’s mega project, the Dubai Metro. I’m excited to see the number decrease each day and couldn’t wait for it to become 0001. I wouldn’t want to leave Dubai until I get on Dubai’s first train.

World’s longest arch bridge in Dubai (soon)

I heard it in the radio news a few days ago, Dubai plans to build the world’s longest arch bridge at a cost of a stunning 3 billion dirhams ($816 million).

sixth crossing bridge.jpg

The mega bridge will measure 1,600 meters with an arch 205 meters high and 667 meters long. At 64 meters wide, the bridge will accommodate 12 lanes of traffic and a metro line running down its center. Sounds really promising to ease the present traffic gridlock in the present bridges over the Dubai Creek at the moment.

The bridge is modelled in the shape of an arch and it could be viewed like an acoustic wave forming a tone or like a dune or new moon in Dubai night.

 sixth-crossing-bridge.jpg

Beautiful, isn’t it? But don’t get too excited now, the bridge is said to be completed in four years – and we all know that everything comes to slow motion (including construction)¬†during the peak of summer here.