Sunday, 14 November 2010

Ancient Monument

No, not me - don't be cheeky. I posted the other day about UAE attitudes toward personal privacy and included an anecdote about the day I was nicked for snapping puddles (a bonus anecdote always adds such value to the 'standard' post one finds) in Sharjah. A late spring clean the other day took us to our old photo box and lo and behold, didn't I find the very film I was nicked for clicking? So here's Sharjah's Ramla area neatly underwater:

You'll note the lack of women in the shot. In its day, before the big drainage program was put in place, Sharjah used to look like this all over - particularly at that time when the rains were very heavy and even Al Wahda street sank without trace into the looming puddle that covered the city. Only four wheel drives had unfettered access, the mortals in their cars had to hug the central reservations and even then many didn't make it and conked out, leaving their owners to strike out for dry land and wait for assistance. It was all rather fun, hence the urge to record the whole thing for posterity!

Another old piccie we unearthed is this one. I didn't take it (I could not, for the life of me, tell you who did), I blagged it from a newspaper archive for some project or another I was working on way back when. It's Flame Roundabout, the eternal flame which used to burn in front of what is now the intersection between DNATA and Deira City Centre. Flame, together with 'Clock' and 'Fish', formed the city's  complement of decorative roundabouts. Clock had a clock on it and I'll leave you to fill in the final blank.

I don't even have a precise date for this snap, although it would likely have been the very early 1990s. I can only tell you that Flame was constructed, judging by the dumper truck in the picture, by big UAE construction company Khansaheb, which translates rather prosaically as 'Mr Khan' after its founder, Mr Khan.

Flame is no longer a roundabout, but the monument has been preserved and moved and the eternal flame still flickers in the vee of land as the airport road splits to take weary commuters to either Garhoud or the Floating Bridge.

We also dug up loads of pictures of us being young and silly and, if I have to confess, painfully gawky. It was all great fun to wade around in for a while. And no, I'm not sharing the gawky stuff. If youth today lives its life online that's youth today's choice. I, for one, am rather glad I can keep my memories of being younger and considerably more stupid (I know it's a stretch, but you'll have to just take my word for it) in a box to enjoy in private.


Grumpy Goat said...

Regarding Sharjah's flooding problem, who else has noticed the rank of diesel-powered pumps, poised on the side of the Emirates Road at the Sharjah/Dubai border?

In an unprecedented display of forward planning, this year the road is perhaps not going to be immersed beneath a metre or more of floodwater.

Wildflower said...

OMG! thanks a ton for posting that flame monument pic :D Brought back memories when dubai (especially Deira) used to be uncrowded and not a maze of roads it is now! I think it is from the early 1990's coz i remember seeing it everyday on my way to and from school! Without this pic i wouldn't even have recalled it being there ever!

From The Dungeons

Book Marketing And McNabb's Theory Of Multitouch

(Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I clearly want to tell the world about A Decent Bomber . This is perfectly natural, it's my latest...