What do you do when you realise you have forgotten your wallet on the bonnet of your car, and just as you step on the gas on a busy six-lane road you see it fly in front of your eyes?
Pull up and attempt to dart in and out of the morning rush hour traffic risking a hefty fine, if not your life? Drive along cussing yourself for your recklessness and forgetting all about it? Or simply call the police? It was a tough call in a real situation on Tuesday during what should have otherwise been yet another routine and uneventful midweek morning drive to work up along E44 (Al Khail road). I considered the first fleetingly, almost decided to go with option number two but held on to the third as if it were one last hope.
And I am glad I did so because that’s when I experienced, first hand, the real, humane side of Dubai’s men in olive green who held up traffic for two long minutes for me to race to the middle lane and fetch my beleaguered wallet back.
In the end, it didn’t really matter because the wallet had almost emptied itself by then, succumbing to the brutal wheels of its brief life on the road, traipsing down Business Bay crossing for 20-odd minutes covering about 100 metres. After several flips and somersaults, all it was left with was the single credit card I had. And I all I could gather were an ATM card, two passport-sized photographs and a Dh10 note that lay strewn on the road. What I feared losing the most, the press card issued by the UAE National Media Council that said I was an accredited journalist, was gone with the wind as was my Emirates ID, my driver’s and vehicle licence. Yet what felt great was that Dubai Police, instead of issuing tickets worth Dh3,000, made a genuine attempt to make yet another UAE resident happy.
If you thought the men in olive green were all tough-talking, hard-bitten officers forever chasing criminals and convicts, then the penny – quite literally – hasn’t dropped for you. It has for me!
Violation: Stopping the vehicle in in prohibited areas on the left road shoulder in public roads | Dh1,000 fine
Violation: Throwing wastes from vehicles onto the roads | Dh1,000 fine | 6 black points
Violation: Causing disturbance to traffic in any way not set forth in this schedule | Dh500 fine
Violation: Leak or falling of parts of the loads from a light vehicle. | Dh500 fine
How the drama unfolded:
9.58am – My colleague Juidin Bernarrd and I get ready to go ‘live’ on our Facebook page from the Stadium metro station for our daily KT Morning Chat show
9.59am – I toss the wallet on the bonnet of my car next to me
10am – We are ‘live’ on our Facebook page as per daily plan
10.10am – We proceed to work after tucking the tripod in the car and packing up, with the wallet still on the bonnet
10.28am – We have driven for roughly 20 minutes and nearly 20km to approach the Business Bay crossing when I see something fly off the bonnet of my car
10.30am – Realising it’s the wallet I had forgotten to pick up, I dial 999 for emergency service
10.34am – Dubai Police call back to confirm location and extent of help required
11am – A Dubai Police patrol car arrives at the spot and within minutes a second car parks up several hundred metres away on the business bay crossing bridge, holding up traffic for good two minutes
11.05am – Traffic is back to normal and the wallet is recovered