09.09.09

Dubai Metro has been launched.

I know because I spent the last hour and 9 minutes waiting for it to pull from the station. Waiting and wading–through the terrible commentary of the anchors on Dubai One’s Special Coverage. Through the images of Dubai, images that corresponded with one-word descriptors of the Metro (“convenience,” “style”). Through the speeches venerating the visionary VP of the country, president and Prime Minster of Dubai.

And then, at approximately 9:08:34 PM the metro’s first ticket was purchased. Shiekh Mo pulled the money from his very own modest brown leather wallet. (But, and I must add this, it was a woman who purchased the ticket. There He was, surrounded by several-hundred men of varying degrees of importance, but Woman gets credit for using the touch-screen ticket dispenser to validate Sheikh Mo’s purchase.)

At 9:09:09 PM on 09/09/09, he pressed the Nol Red card to the gate and became the first patron ever.
He was followed by a sea of penguin-looking “dignitaries, businessmen, and others,” as Dubai One so succinctly put it.

Up the stairs, through the breezeway over the freeway, out of the mall, and all the way to the world’s longest driverless train he walked. You may not think that is remarkable, but oh it was for the anchors.

Riding the metro will take you out of your comfort zone–your sedentary lifestyle, as Sheikh Mohammad is demonstrating.

And what an exemplary job he did of walking up all those stairs!

Then, he and his dignitaries, businessmen, and less common-ers boarded the train. The cameras recorded and TV stations broadcasted and we all waited with great anticipation for the train to make it to the next station…

We all waited with great anticipation for the train to make it to the next station…

We all–what the heck is the hold up??

I still don’t know. But five minutes later, when the train did finally pull away from the station, it was packed.

Oh look, now they’re all back on TV at the next station. Still walking, and climbing, and setting an example for all of us lazy, car-dependent Dubai residents.

Another little ceremony for this station. Ah, a laser show. That links East and West by lighting up Arabic writing…? The Metro, the anchors tell me, is actually redefining “Arab.” Wow! This Metro has so much more meaning than I ever imagined!

Man, all this excitement, anticipation, and watching people break free of the sedentary lifestyles has worked up my appetite. I’m off to make this.

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