Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lost & Found and then lost in Dubai

Last weekend, we (Me and Nisha, my wife) decided to go to the Creek Side Park in Dubai and take the cable car ride across the park and enjoy the 8.30 PM fireworks that take place every day during the DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival).
It turned out to be an adventurous and tiring journey rather than a pleasant one.
We left home (hotel actually) at about 4 and planned to reach the Ghubaiba Bus Depot and then take a bus to Creek Park and reach there by 5'ish. That way we could get onto the cable car (which travels 30 metres above the park) while there is still some light and then go around the park and see the fireworks at 8.30.
We reached Ghubaiba depot and started looking for the other bus which would take us top the Creek Park. Just when were about to board the bus, I realized that I was missing my bag. IU had forgotten my bag in the previous bus. 
WOAH !!!
I went to the Customer Care counter at the depot and told them about the situation. They asked for my card (We pay for bus/metro etc using a Card … by swiping it across the machines in the bus). Using that card, the gentleman at the counter printed the card history which had records of all swipes made. It had the time, date, Bus number etc … everything.
The person called the destination depot of the bus and informed then about the bag. They were asked to retain the bag in the bus and drop it at the depot when the bus came back to it; which would be in about 35-45 minutes. Well, technology and prompt customer service helped me get my bag back … quickly.
Since we had to wait at the depot for the bag to turn up, we could not go to creek-park immediately. We got the bag by 6.30 and it was already dark so the cable car ride was already ruled out. So we planned to go to the Night Souq which I remembered was somewhere close to creek-park and catch the 8.30 fireworks. We asked around and took the designated bus.
THAT proved to be the next BIG mistake … the bus took a circuitous route to creek-park. While we could have easily reached the park in about 20 minutes by bus and 10 minutes by taxi; that treacherous bus on that fateful evening took more than hour to reach.  It was already 8.00 when we reached and I could not see any lights of the night souq. The only hope was to traverse the length of the park and reach the creek in time to catch the fireworks. Easier said than done. The parks here in Dubai are actually HIUGE and getting from one end to the other is no mean task. We walked and walked and finally reached the Bridge across the creek after about 25 minutes; just in time for the fireworks.
During that half an hour of walking there was a feeling of being lost with no empty taxi in sight.  
Of course there was more walking later on after the fireworks but we were sure of the destination. Later that night when I calculated the distance traversed by foot on maps; I realized that we clocked about 3 km in the path traced below … and another km perhaps at the bus depot etc.
Phew. A total of more than 4 km walk!!!

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