Monday, 22 March 2010

The Tale of the Trench

For the past 3 weeks labourers have been digging a trench in the street for new water pipes, or that’s what I gather from the arm waving and Hindlish dialogue. So far the digging has only been on our side of the street and it seems to be taking a long, long time.  On many annoying occasions, residents have found their driveways dug up with the paving bricks left in piles on the footpath and no access possible to the garage unless they organise it themselves. As a result I’ve become adept at putting down just enough bricks so I can drive the car into the garage. Other residents or their maids have shovelled sand back into the trench or have been seen throwing paving bricks into the hole in desperation so they can get their cars in or out of their garage.
Yesterday the pipe laying geniuses surpassed themselves.  They dug a trench at least 6 inches wide and 6-8 inches deep, running the length of the street and cutting across the entrances to all the garages, then they finished work for the day leaving it behind them. Was any provision made for residents to use their garages?  If you live in Dubai you already know the answer. 
A 4x4 could deal with the trench, but for any saloon, it was a non-starter (particularly the lovely Madame and her low profile tyres.) After some high-level muttering and irritated site inspection I realised that the trench was too wide and too deep for me to start re-laying bricks unless I wanted to be there all night. I considered lifting the DEWA manhole covers and laying them across the trench but they were too heavy dammit. There is also virtually no on-street parking in the area.  What there is, is occupied almost permanently by residents parking their 3rd and 4th cars that don’t fit into their garages.
As the evening progressed, more of the neighbours arrived home from work, realised they couldn’t get into their own garages, and what I said when I initially looked at the trench, was repeated down the street in 4 or 5 different languages.
So, long-story-short, poor Madame had to spend the night parked sideways across the driveway with her tail just off the road.  As I maneuvered the car between the 3 foot high stacks of bricks the mental midgets had left on the side of the driveway, I realised that the area's mums wouldn’t be able to get their cars out of the garages the following morning to do the school run either. The concept that residents may need to use their cars doesn’t seem to have been factored in at all.
And now I look forward to tonight’s Driveway Surprise; the heavy duty brickies’ gloves are in the car, there’s a shovel by the front door and in the garage are Colin’s sand mat thingies that I can lay over any trench like something out of a D-Day movie.
Madame and I are prepared.

1 comment:

  1. What, don't tell me they're still playing with that trench, I recommend hand placement of a few pavers, rather than those big & heavy "sand mattsthingy's". Sorry they've given you that trouble, sicvk Ali onto them!! C xxx