The nine goals of the Dubai school-run driver
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in my career as mummy sitting in the car at the school gates waiting for one or other of the children. And, in that time, I’ve observed a lot of drivers in action.
Now just to clarify, I’m not talking about the mums and dads here, but about the people many mums and dads employ to pick up their precious progeny. Through my observations, I’ve put together a list of goals that a driver here has to achieve in order to receive his monthly wage. Do correct me if I’m wrong but, as far as I can tell, they are:
1. Get as close to the school gate as possible. Daily achievement is not measured in metres, it’s measured in millimetres. Five mms away from the gate and salary is deducted AED 10.
2. Open car doors at the gate (never, ever a metre past, no matter how many cars you hold up) to discharge uniformed nanny. She’s a strange creature – outside the school she doesn’t have legs; they only grow once she’s inside the school, so walking outside the gate is impossible.
3. Once nanny is clear, reverse as fast as possible back through school car park to closest available parking space. Fingers crossed you don’t run anyone over!
4. If a parking space isn’t available within 10 metres of the school gate, double-park across the front of any other car. Pick a nice-looking Western lady as she’s least likely to shout about it. Shrug nonchalantly if she looks pissed off.
5. If you do get a parking space, don’t bother with mirrors – just reverse in and out five times to make sure you get the car roughly between the lines. Crooked doesn’t matter; neither does the traffic jam that builds up as you sashay in and out.
6. Leaving engine running, exit the car and gather with your peers at the school gate. This is the ideal place to have a quick fag / hoik up the contents of your lungs / spit on the floor / ignore the irate mum whose car you just parked in. Added bonus: you can ogle the mums in short skirts. Wazaaa!
7. Leap back in the car just before the nanny and child(ren) return – this is a highly skilled position we’re talking about here – and move the car to within one millimetre of the gate because, don’t forget, nanny’s legs fall off at the gate. Remember: AED 10 deducted from salary for every millimetre the nanny has to walk. She’s a bitch, and she’s telling Madam.
8. Open the window / sunroof so unrestrained children can hang out waving to their friends.
9. Drive over the speed bumps at 0.5kph, then indicate right while turning left (what a jape!) before driving home at 100kph in the second from fast lane, causing cars to weave around you in a pretty pattern – it entertains the kids no end.