One crisis at a time
You know I’m a glass-half-full type of a girl? That I always try to see the best in things? I try my best to smile through Dubai’s red tape, and through the incompetence of too many customer service reps, but there are still some weeks that can be quite a challenge to the perma-grin.
As if it’s not enough just trying to shop and cook for the family, to pick up the kids and get them to the right places at the right time in the right outfits, Dubai seems to specialise in throwing glittery curve-balls just when you least expect them.
Here are some from the last week or two:
- · Trying to get an Emirates ID card for DD, who was registered with the authorities as per the law in 2009, back when children didn’t need ID cards. That they’ve since changed the law and she’s fallen through the gap means we got an AED 1,000 fine. Deep breath, Mrs D, deep breath.
- · Buying tickets to see the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory stage show in London. You’d think it would be simple but the system didn’t like my Dubai card, then changed its mind, accidentally double-charging me. Calls both to the bank and to the theatre booking company resulted in… big fat denial. Breath in, Mrs D, breath out.
- · Gerlie alerts me to a broken water pipe by the outdoor water tank. Water’s gushing like Niagara Falls; call Noah, there’s a flood. I have to switch off the mains supply. It’s Thursday. Thanks to my hearty recommendations, the plumber’s now so successful he can’t fix it till the following Tuesday. ‘And I’m sorry to tell you, the only water you’ll have is what’s in your tank.’ I’m no expert but even I know it’s not going to last till the end of the day, let alone till Tuesday. ‘What will you do?’ asks the plumber, sounding mildly concerned. Umm, deep breathe, turn off the irrigation, switch off the washing machine… and strike you off my list…?
- · Notice I’ve got slightly low air in the car tyres. Go to petrol station and try to fill them only to discover there’s a hole in the pump hose and I’m actually removing air from the first tyre, not filling it. Deep breathe, drive (slowly) on 12-lane highway to next petrol station with 20psi in the tyre. Squidge.
- · Host a play date: the mum turns up two hours late, well after DS’s bedtime. Hey, it’s Dubai, what’s two hours between friends? Deep-breathe, Mrs D, deep-breathe.
DH comes home Thursday night: the car tyres are pumped, the water pipe’s fixed, the children are fed, homework done, they’re in bed, the ID card’s applied for, the fine’s paid (but the theatre booking company still has double our money), the dinner’s ready. Heck, I even have makeup on.
‘Hi darling,’ he says, giving me a kiss. ‘Did you manage to get the TV fixed today?’