It’s been an unusual day, to say the least.
Children in the UAE might have squealed with delight as they paddled up and down the street in inflatables and sailed boats to the supermarket (no joke) …
But me – well I lost my mojo somewhere on Al Qudra street – about an hour into the apocalyptic traffic jam attempting to inch its way through biblical floods last seen by Noah.
It all started at 4am, with an enormous crash of thunder. Lightning sliced the sky. But even then, the morning school run was fine – just a disappointed son to contend with following the cancellation of his school trip. Actually, he was more worried about the fact his lunch was in a plastic Spinneys bag (as requested by the teacher). “Mummy, go home and get my lunch box!” he pleaded while I tried to stop him lobbing his sandwiches away.
The sky quickly turned a scrubbed pigeon grey then a really ominous granite colour, sort of slated and solemn. Daylight made only a feeble attempt to break through the billowing cloud cover. The rain, when it came, drummed wildly on our roof. It lashed the windows, cascaded off our garage in a waterfall, and collected in huge ‘ponds’ that within an hour or so all joined up to form floods the size of lakes.
The schools closed, I can’t even begin to imagine what happened at the airports. Buildings flooded, structural damage occurred and the traffic snarled up until it grid-locked so badly I took a big chance and swerved onto sand in the hope of ploughing my way through a building site to escape the Armageddon on Al Qudra (I made it!).
The children, meanwhile, went out in their swimming gear. A neighbour took his canoe for a paddle round the compound. Ironically, the water cut off in our villa – I did see the funny side of this, given that outside it was knee-deep, with waves rippling up the path every time a car swished by, wheels hissing. The lights started flickering … “Picked a great week for our winter-sun holiday, didn’t we?” said my Mum as she Facebooked photos of the rain for the amusement of British friends and family.
Her last photo, of tankers vacuuming up the rainwater through giant straws, was captioned: “Now we’ve seen it all!”
Dubai really doesn’t do rain.
Keep safe tomorrow everyone.