When I boarded the bus that day at seven in the morning to go for work, little did I think that it would become an adventure.
The weather was slightly foggy and I attributed it to being early November, the winter having begun in Dubai.
It was my first week at work and the company transportation had not been allotted to me yet. I was on high alert and at every stop I would look at the driver of the bus, who had agreed to alert me when my destination came.
After the initial enthusiasm which lasted almost fifteen minutes, I became negligent and sat listening to the FM on my mobile till the driver shouted at me that it was my turn to get out of his vehicle.
I stepped out and stared around stupefied. All around me was dense fog. I couldn’t see a thing!! It was like I had landed on a cloud. Being the romantic that I was, I enjoyed my first tryst with fog. I was inside a white cloud and any moment an angel would arrive to take me to heaven.
After the initial euphoria, I started to sweat when the reality descended on me. I was in a strange country, in a strange street and I had to reach my office in another fifteen minutes. Which direction my office was, or where I had stepped out, I had no idea. Usually I had the Rashidiya Police Station building which stood tall among the other smaller villas as my landmark. But because of the fog nothing was visible.
What if a car came and kidnapped me?
What if I got lost and then my phone lost connectivity or got switched off ?
So many what ifs started making rounds in my brain and then my husband called. I made him equally worried and then he suggested I call Jithu. Jithu was CAD Draftsman in our main office and my friend who knew exactly where the site office was. He usually was armed with location maps.
If you asked directions of a place to him, he gifted you a Location map. I should tell you, armed with a computer and the co-ordinates of almost all places in Dubai, he showed off, literally.
I call him and he start to tell me about the landmarks that would lead me to the office. I tell him none of it is visible as it is dense fog around. Then he reminds me of the LOCATION MAP, he had given me the previous day. I take it out and it seems like Latin and Greek to me.
He asks me to calm down and look for the street signs and follow it. I gather the audacity to ask him where I can find them. He tells me kindly that they are found in junctions where two roads meet. Walking aimlessly, at last I find one.
To follow street signs on a normal day is a torture of the worst kind for me. Just imagine doing it on a foggy day, when you are like me, who has absolutely no direction sense.
(How I ended up being a Civil Engineer is a puzzle to many people around. Even I am puzzled at times!!!…)
|The Location Map|
After wandering like a nomad for almost half an hour and even asking to a small kid who absolutely had no idea where my office was, I see the entrance gate to my Site Office. I have tears in my eyes and I dramatically wipe them before entering it.
I sit down at my desk, call my husband first and then my savior Jithu to thank him. Then I go about telling all around about the adventure that I had. Fukayama Sir pitied me, Sohail, the Pakistani office boy shared his own ordeal and then we all sat down to begin yet another normal work day.