Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
November 26, 2010
All the Roads lead to New Jersey
I used to often visit my brothers on the Main Line, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Brothers Mc Mullin were roommates while one attended college and the other Law school at Villanova. We instinctively would jump in the car for a bite in Philadelphia. It sometimes happened that we took the wrong turn.....
....And ended on the New Jersey turnpike with the next exit, twenty minutes away, leading us, in the darkness to the Garden State. These mishaps only happen at night.
In Dubai, the ONLY road to avoid is the highway to Sharjah. Beware, it doesn't start off as a highway like Sheikh Zayed Road does. It looks like a ramp taking you to City Center. But it develops as a "sneaky, tricky" rollacoaster road. I start to mumble, I begin to scream, my heart rate rises and then it is a sharp downfall to an ever enlarging highway, two lanes become four, I submerge in a tunnel and all the signs lead to Sharjah. I combat panic and I find the last chance, the last exit before torture (ie no choice but to go to Sharjah).
My motto when I get lost is that I will learn my lesson, will never take that turn again. At least I have found a quick exit right before Sharjah: Airport Terminal 2. My son and I chat now for comfort. We remark that this is the airport my husband, his dad, lands in when he arrives from Kabul. Deep down, I wish that my trip will not last three hours as the Kabul-Dubai one does. Logic rules. There must be signs for Dubai at the Airport! The familiar AbuDhabi/Jebel Ali ones pop up and reassure me.
My son is in his swimming trunks. I had tried connecting a very obvious Dubai Golf Creek Club to the Floating Bridge. He is doing his geography homework. No better place than a silent car, vibrant with stress, to get homework out of the way. "Don't you know where Gianxiou is Mama?" I wanted to find Dubai first. More important I was afraid of the giant cobra with the white and red illuminated eyes. This is what we call traffic: the lurking monster. If it finds you, traffic swallows you, you get imprisoned in the entrails of the massive snake. No mercy!
Each turn is a decisive one leading u to "Syraat almostakeem" (the right road in religious terminology). When I found my way back through the labyrinth, when my son got into a swimming lane after all the highway lanes we traversed, I relaxed and told myself it was well worth the effort. My second motto is: when you get lost just know you will get hit by a blog posting!
I hope traffic will be eradicated in a decade when my children will be behind the wheel. In two decades they can tell their children stories about the pinktaxi caught in traffic.
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!