Unique views of a unique person

Posts tagged ‘Dubai’

Aperture – An introduction

I have been off the grid for a while now. In the meantime, i became the proud owner of a DSLR (a dream come true after many years). Which meant that i gained an “i must go pro-photography” attitude. But as most of you who know me know, i am a pro photo editor.

Photography was just the final frontier to conquer. And i did, with my friends who have owned DSLRs for quite a time, over a series of morning shootouts on a Friday morning and outings.

I improved my photography skills while they all learnt post processing in photoshop and lightroom. This growth has been happening for the past few months and now reached an eventual climax.

Now i present to the world, APERTURE.

ImageAPERTURE was formed by myself and my friends Niaz Basheer and Sebey Abraham. We joined together so that we may teach interested folks around us about photography. A world i have grown to see as infinite.

More details coming soon.

BTW

Niaz Basheer is a banker, soon to be an auditor. His interests span from photography and toastmasters to adventure travel. Known for his famous landscape and portrait photography.

Sebey Abraham is in the shipping industry. His interest in photography started many years back with the purchase of a point and shoot. His experience gained through years of trial and error has now become his natural instincts.

Sachin Thomas, you need no introduction to šŸ˜›

5 reasons why i wont take the bus today

Today, November the 1st, is public transport day in Dubai. Basically, the transport department at the government was created here 5 years ago. Before that it was just the public bus department running a 100 buses on random routes. Anyway, to celebrate their 5th anniversary, they have graciously decided not to take any bus fares and metro fares for the day. all public transport journeys for the day are free.

Now, i got a car. I wouldn’t take the bus for several reasons. Here are 5 reasons, that i could think of, why i wouldn’t.

5) The bus routes suck big-time

yep, that’s right, the bus routes don’t really make sense. Actually, most bus routes take you only to a metro station. From there, we take the metro to the next station where another bus journey awaits us. We cant really blame them, they wanna reduce costs and increase metro use. The pic shows a sample bus route compared to a car route.

4) Buses are slow!!!!!

Actually, i think their top speed’s are limited to 10 or 15 kph. So even if you are late, u just keep counting all the cars that overtake you. It’s a good pastime while on the bus.

3) I love my carbon footprint

That’s right, I love leaving a huge carbon footprint. Environmentalists, its time to go have your heart attack. I frankly wanna burn petrol just like that. Also, I wont feel guilty driving a hummer burning 1L of fuel to take me 1km.

2) Buses are unsafe

I know what you might be thinking. What a load of bull. Actually, think about it. In cars, we got seat-belts and airbags. In a bus, probably only the bus driver has a seat-belt. So just think. Think about which is really more safer. Oh yeah, buses don’t really go fast in Dubai. But still, in the odd chance that they do, it’s a big risk. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this pic. If you want to get into an accident, do it in your own car.

1) Driving a car is fun

Yeah it is!!! And if you don’t get me, you don’t get me. OK, another way to put it.

Imagine you are sitting in your car, at the signal. You are the first car in your lane. The music is something nice with fast beats. The light turns green. And zoom, you hear your engine crying as you shift gears one by one till you look into the mirror and see a blur. Blur of all the cars you left behind.Ā  That’s a thrill you wont ever get sitting in a bus. Maybe you get it if you are in a rocket( But who gets to sit in a rocket, seriously?). Still didn’t get me? Go get on a bus.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against the RTA. Just against slow bus drivers and many of your stupid routes.

changingĀ customs

I have been living in Dubai for over a decade. Things are quite different here from the other emirates.

For example, in Sharjah, laws are enforced stricter, the people are rude drivers most of the time, and everyone is in a rush to get to Dubai (even if the cars move a 100 meters an hr). In Abu Dhabi, everyone is quite relaxed, no traffic jams whatsoever. Al Ain looks like a city built into a forest area. Each one of the emirates is unique in one way or another. But dubai is a gem among the whole lot. Things here have to take place quickly. Something done here always captures the world’s attention. There is always a new biggest or largest in town. Even when the recession came, Dubai had the largest debt. But we here have survived and moved on. That’s the way things work around here. Most of this is due to the ambitions and vision of the ruler, sheikh Mohammed.

The laws aren’t enforced quite strictly over here. And they can’t. There are always a lot of tourists and if you offend them, they might not come back. But the time when rules are always kept strict is during Ramadan. The holy month is always a time when people here start working on their morals. Liquor isn’t served during this time. And most of all, the 100+ years old law that no person shall eat or drink anything in public during Ramadan is strictly enforced.

Malls don’t usually have shoppers during the daytime since people cant eat or drink anything in the malls. So most tourists don’t come here during this month long fast. But this year, coupled with the effect of the recession, businesses have taken a huge toll. Dubai mall, came up with an interesting solution. One that i came to know of halfway through Ramadan.

They cordoned off a particular area within the food court and designated it as a dining area where people can sit and eat whatever they want. This unique idea was quite boldly implemented in a place where Ramadan rules have virtually not changed in a century. This novel idea has picked up quite a few restaurants as backers within the food court outlets and even a few loyal lunchtime customers during this time.

I, in my wisdom not to tarnish my safe havenĀ  with people i know, quietly held the secret of this mall till the last day of Ramadan. I hope that this concept will flourish throughout Dubai next year, because, frankly, I’m tired of dubai mall already. And it’s about time a few rules were changed.

I am a dubai driver becauseā€¦.

I am a dubai driver. You wanna know why? Let me list them all out for you

1.Indicators

I know my car comes with indicators. But I reserve the right to change lanes as and when i please without indicators surprising the guy in the other lane.Why should i waste my time to go switch them on and then switch them off after a few seconds. Its my choice!!!!!!!!!!!

2. Tailgating

How close is too close? By law, i should be 1km behind the car in front (I know its an insane calculation). I choose to believe that 1km is the same as 1cm, as long as I ain’t touching his rear bumper.

3. Speeding

Its my God given right to go however fast as i please. Oh, and I would like to slow down for the cameras to give them a chance to take a look at me. But then recently cameras have evolved from those predictable boxes kept every 1km or so. Now they come as spy gadgets and guns. Getting harder to speed as i please. Damn u cops!!!!!!!!

4.Driving license

As far as getting driving licenses are concerned, an average Dubai driver has flunked atleast 10 road tests. Not to mention, i still don’t know how to start a car. Every rule has an exception though, if I’m a woman, i got my license on the 1st or 2nd try. That does not mean I’m a pro. I’m just like everyone else.

5.Pedestrians

I have a car. You don’t. Don’t you dare walk across the road when I’m coming that way. You wanna know why? Cos i Own the road. If i see you crossing, I will speed up like a maniac and then see if u stop thinking of crossing the road. If that fails,my Plan B states that i must make a sudden brake ,turn on the hazard lights and then give a fuming look at him/her.

6. Handsfree Kits

I never heard of them. Are there really devices that go into your ear and allow you to make calls without taking out the phone in your hands? You have got to be kidding me. Such things haven’t hit the Dubai markets i suppose ;). Hope these new inventions do come to Dubai soon, I wanna become a safe driver.

7. Flashing

I have a xenon lamp. Shouldn’t I show it off to the car in front of me if he is goign a bit too slower than 200kmph? You are right, its my god given right to do so. If i blind him in the process, well and good. A little less traffic to drive through tomorrow night. Might as well turn on my fog lamps while I’m at it.

8. Traffic Lights

Shit, I’m 5 mins late already and the signal is already flashing green.There is still time, i can make it through…. and yes, i have crossed the signal while it was still flashing green (though red light looks a lot like green these days).Now let me try justifying it a little bit in my mind. Nope, that was totally suicidal. At least no cop was watching, nor were there traffic cameras at that signal. I better be careful at the next signal then. Don’t wanna get my car impounded.

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