Thursday, October 18, 2012

AfPak

Today I drove around a significant portion of northern Dubai looking for the Philippine Consulate. And you know what? Not a single person on the street that I stopped to ask for directions spoke English or Arabic. Reason number #38 why it would be nice to speak Urdu/Hindi or Farsi or Pashto or Dari. What a linguistically/culturally crazy place this is.

SPEAKING OF. There's a giant swath of Sharjah that Jeremy and I refer to as "Pakistan," because when you are there, you might as well be IN Pakistan. Or, depending on the exact block, Afghanistan. Shalwar kameez far outnumber kandura and every other restaurant is named "Peshawar Kitchen." After my scenic, stressful (but ultimately successful) tour of Dubai this morning, I drove over to Pakistan-Sharjah to try to get our windshield wipers fixed. The traffic was so bad that I didn't make it all the way over to our usual repair shop, so I stopped at a random shop on the roadside.

I walked in and saw the proprietor jump awake from his nap behind the counter. As he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, I asked him if he could fix the windshield wipers and he asked what kind of truck I drove. Huh? I told him I had a Toyota Rav4, and then he looked at me weird and told me that this repair shop was only for heavy-duty trucks. Then I asked him how on earth he had initially thought it was possible that I was a big-rig driver. Then he laughed and laughed and said he was relieved to know that smallish American women had not taken up jobs driving trucks in the UAE.

When he was done laughing, he had his guys look at the windshield wipers to see if they could fix them, even though small cars is not what they do. They couldn't fix them because of a missing part, but it was so kind of them to try. As I went on my way, the proprietor made me promise that if I ever get a job driving trucks, I will have them repaired at his shop. With all the driving experience I'm getting, that might not be such a bad idea.

4 comments:

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

It is nice they were willing to try! ;-)

Being a cute Anerican woman couldn't have hurt their desire to try at accomadating your request.

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

Make that American......sheesh I need more sleep

Kathy Haynie said...

My YW 1st Counselor is a former driver of BIG trucks. She's close to my age, but she's not much bigger than you. Cute, blonde, and sassy. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall (of her truck) back in the day.

Ariana said...

I sometimes got to drive a big 1-ton landscaping truck with a dump bed when I worked for a landscaping place in Portland. Not the most fun thing to drive and park downtown....I don't recommend it. :)

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