Times are tough and the recession continues so I decided to avoid taxis and explore Dubai’s’ Metro instead for the first time this past weekend. After all, I am now living in “Dubai, Dubai”; a city like no other, so might as well explore it all while I’m here.
It was quite an experience, to say the least, and probably one that I have never experienced in any other city that I have visited or lived in before. I first had to hail a taxi and take it to the closest Metro station, then take the actual Metro, and finally; take another taxi from the Metro station to my destination. As you can see, a simple metro journey turns into a 3-step process in this city. I guess it was naïve of me to think that this form of transportation would be as easy as to just get a ticket and hop on the metro.
Stupidly, I sprinted up the escalator and ran into the first set of doors that came my way. I was amazed by the comfortable seats, great view of the train track ahead of me, and felt like complete royalty as I sat back and expected a glass of orange juice to be served to me. I took out my Blackberry and frantically started taking pictures to be able to send them to my friends who are all still suffering in the nasty tubes of London. Suddenly, a rather large Filipino woman approached me (… or rather tackled me) and screamed out “GOLD CARD”! I smiled to her and didn’t really know what she was on about until she screamed “SHOW CARD”, which was actually quite frightening. I was convinced that she was having a stroke as her nostrils began to flare up and she continued to yell at me for sitting in the “gold class” without actually having that specific card. Yup, as you can see, Dubai’s Metro has different classes, which I was obviously unaware of at the time.
Luckily, the lady didn’t call the cops on me but instead, pushed me out (literally) at the next stop as the sliding door to where the “normal” passengers sit wasn’t working despite her exciting wrestling match with it. I walked across the platform and quickly ran in another set of doors while catching my breath. Soon enough, I realized that this compartment was only for women and that I better vacate it immediately before the cops get a hold of me and throw me in jail (for life)!
Finally, I managed to reach the right compartment and was able to find a seat right away. It was no ‘gold class’ but it was definitely more than just impressive. It was clean, comfortable, and air conditioned, which is something I had rarely experienced in Washington DC, Boston, London, or any other city before. However, it was disappointing to see that there wasn’t enough space or handles / bars for passengers in case they weren’t lucky enough to find a seat.
Over all, it was a great first experience on the Metro and I’ll definitely be using it again. Who knows, I may even treat myself to the ‘Gold Class’ next time just to be able to spend some more time with that sumo wrestler again.