Contrary to a lot of advice I was given before coming to Dubai, it does in fact rain in the middle east. We first saw some rainfall in Deira when we were staying there. It was plain to see how ill-equipped the city was for rain when a few mils of drizzle would fill the streets for a week or two.
The rain has been a lot more solid in the past week, now that we’re into what they call winter. It’s interesting to see how quickly some English colleagues have forgotten what it was like back home and complained on their Facebook status about the rain. On average, December is likely to see 15mm rain from 3-4 days. Not much to write home about.
But the city still acts like it’s a monsoon. The terrible driving on our roads gets even more terrible. And this makes the terrible traffic, even more terrible.
In fact one night this week when I was on the metro heading home, Elle called to say she was caught in traffic. So I caught a taxi from my station at the Mall Of Emirates. After driving through a few deep creeks which were formally roads, we hit a bad section of traffic that was not moving at all. It was under a kilometre from our place, so I cut the taxi ride short and got out – sporting my new Emirates umbrella – to set off to walk the remaining distance. Probably not the best idea. The footpaths in our neck of the woods are appalling. There was no room besides the cars for me to cross the busy intersection, so I set off to find a break in the construction of the overpass. An even worse idea. The place was full of mud, and while I did my best to only step on solid ground. On two occasions I stepped into a mud puddle and stepped out without a shoe. Fortunately there was just enough light to see and rescue the shoe before they were totally consumed by the puddle.
After this debacle I made it home in one piece, a little wet but so muddy, the dry cleaner’s going to wonder what happened.
The schools also struggle at this time. Poor Myles had an Achievement Assembly cancelled on account of the rain. I remember a couple of times while I was at school wishing that the rain would cancel school, all to no avail. Here it seems to be the norm.