The funny side of …well, everthing really 😀
This exerpt has been taken off the author’s blog page – www.mmblogtrack.wordpress.com
Every morning, at 8:33 a.m., the Survival of the Fittest unravels in the bowels of the city. A school of sperm looks to impregnate the aquamarine serpent slithering around the city. Some penetrate aggressively, some wait for other more attractive serpents to come along. And once the egg is safely nestled inside, it is another battle altogether.
And this fairly mundane piece of biology is the precursor to a grand social experiment in one of the most progressive cities in the world.
Welcome to people watching on the Dubai Metro.
First, let’s establish our majorities Filipinos and Indians—and our minorities—the rest of the world. The South Asian contingent in the women and children’s cabin is a pack of psychic warriors, really. We hover around an unsuspecting victim and we watch for the signs: the ejection of the Nol card, the slight drag of the handbag strap across the forearm and the small edge forward. This small edge forward will not convert to fully erect until the train comes to a complete halt. The prey cannot show defeat. You always want to have the power over your predators. But, when the blue cushioning is laid bare to the world then the real duel breaks out. This sounds like the start of a bad joke but bear with me. Two Indians and two Filipinos are chatting, clinging reluctantly to the overhead rail. One seat, rather three-quarters of a seat, opens up, If the Filipinos let the Indians sit, one will sit. If the Indians let the Filipinos sit, the both of them together will sit. The Filipinos run the race together, the Indians compete. If there is really no goodwill, they will both turn around, get into a squat, bump buttocks and one will push their way to the seat. There will be a scowl, a few select words and they push past it. Welcome to
the jungle in the pickle jar.
Cut to scene two: When an uninitiated specimen wanders into the jungle, namely a man enters the cabin. If RTA has made some smart decisions, it is making the sign a flashy pink, with a sly 100 AED fine in small font. Still, the obvious association of pink and women does not strike some. He stands firmly stapled to the ground, with a deer-in-the-headlights expression on his face. The women look at each other, screening him with an apologetic look on their face, waiting to see who attacks first. A warrior steps up like a stern matron and dismisses him with a hint of condescension: “This is the women’s cabin. You should be there.” Meanwhile the rest of us oscillate between “Was that too harsh?” and “Was it really that big a deal?” With his tail between his legs, the man makes his way to the border, with spectators on either side budging not a toe. The trial is done.
But the crowning moment of this entire play is the grand entrance really. It is a valuable lesson in efficient space use. When you are a claustrophobe with an unsteady balance, it is a valuable lesson in idiocy. Stuff as many gumballs as you can in your mouth in three seconds without choking. When the three-second window opens, a struggle ensues to cover every gravely inch of the cliff top lest you are banished from the netherworld—forever apparently. Mind you, our fascination for large totes and perfect hair is not the most helpful in a storm. Tensions bubble, and occasionally simmer over, until the pressure releases around Business Bay station. I kid you not, it is like loosening a corset.
Of course, grass is always greener on the other side, even if it’s the same jungle. On this side, male creatures are drawn to the pheromones on the other side and will throw lingering stares across the distance. But, if this vessel of pheromones were to cross the border, she would be graciously welcomed. She will bear the occasional leering if only to get a seat and personal space courtesy of male chivalry. If a man walks in with his significant other, he closes around her like bubble wrap and the chivalry code suggests that a man in the vicinity should give up his seat for the special one. Here, when the cliff top is dangerously crowded, they back off lest death do them part and even then they will ensure she is protected. And here, the South Asian contingent is just another part of the world map, coexisting peacefully. Same jungle, different herd.
Rant aside, riding the metro is as encompassing an experience with our fellow humans as any other, a soft reminder of our animalistic roots and our droplet-sized existence in the ocean. Plug in your earphones and enjoy the ride.
Happy 6th anniversary Dubai Metro.