Dubai, 21st November 2011
Everybody agrees that there need to be rules on the metro – any public transport for that matter. After all, cramming a lot of people into a small space can lead to all sorts of unpleasantness all round. So, when Dubai built its metro, they came up with numerous rules covering most eventualities that would ensure everybody would have a pleasant journey without interfering with their close neighbour’s pleasant journey.
So, you are not allowed to eat. Anything. Fair enough, after all, someone’s burger after the nightshift might not be someone else’s idea of pleasant breakfast smell. Officially you aren’t even allowed to drink, but with people keeling over during the summer months, I believe they relaxed the rule a little where water is concerned. Just about.
Also, it seems you’re also not allowed to sleep. As one poor American student on holiday visiting his expat parents found out to his detriment. He got woken up and fined Dhs300 (US$81). I mean, I totally understand where they are coming from – they must have been on the plane with my husband once. As soon as he sits down, he falls asleep and utters the most appalling noise possible. Totally unsociable. And then there are those that slump over and – eek – snuggle onto your shoulder, probably drooling as they go… So, again, they mean well.
What the good citizens of Dubai got their knickers in a twist about though was that the unlucky snoozer got fined Dhs300, but anybody carrying a gun or other type of weapon (machete, anyone?), would only have been fined Dhs200 (US$54), and anybody causing a disturbance would only be charged Dhs100 (US$27).
I wonder if the snoozer had been my snoring husband, would he have been charged Dhs300 for sleeping AND Dhs100 for causing a disturbance?