Saturday, 19 December 2009

ramsay street happenings

Ramsay Street has been full of excitement of late. It's all worthy soap-opera material.

Firstly there's the neighbour who beats her maid in the street. The other day the two of them were walking from the mosque store; maid in front and woman in local dress behind. The maid walks and cowers while the other woman walks and beats. It's a distressing sight.

Then there was the episode involving the teenager girl who lives with the woman (daughter? sister?). Woman is out. Car is parked on the street. Boy is at the wheel. Teenage girl gets out just as the woman arrives home by taxi. And it's on. Woman wails and screams as she beats the car and throws herself on the bonnet beating the window. Car speeds off. Woman falls to the ground screaming, gets up and begins beating the girl. They come inside the apartments, beating subsides for a few moments. Girl walks up stairs carrying her broken glasses and nursing her already bruised head. Apartment door closes and beating resumes.

The other excitement on Ramsay street is flooding after the recent rains when the street turned into a river as raging torrents of water swept past the buildings. People couldn't get to work because the water was too deep to drive through. White water rafting was an option. Hours later a Pakistani man was seen wading waist deep through the water manually attempting to unblock a drain. He was ultimately successful and within hours of his effort the water had mostly drained away. However, we were left with 6-inch deep mud and sludge. Next day the same man was out there with a shovel, shovelling away a lot of the mud. It took days to dry and now the street still looks like a dirt road. Huge dust storms are whipped up as 4-wheel drives from beyond tear up the street, honk their horns at the grocery, gather their goods and speed off again.

Dinner on the balcony now includes a healthy serving of dust!


Melb Teacher said...

Thanks for your very informative blog about your life in Al Ain over the past years. I to am a teacher who is looking to relocate there in 2011 with my family (by then with 1 almost 2 year old and 1 7 year old).
I have to say that your blog has me absolutley frightened silly about the roads and driving - but I enjoyed reading about your many 'challenges' to date.
I am just wondering if you have any friends who are Aussie expats who may have employed a nanny. If so are they any good, easy to come by, and what would be an average price for their employment?
Also wondering what is the price of bread and milk in Al Ain?
Fellow Aussie Teacher

Aussie said...

Hi Melb Teacher, I've only just come back to my blog and seen your query. Not sure if you'll ever get my response, but ... bread and milk are dirt cheap as are nannies. Most families with children have a maid. They are very poorly paid and most are from Sri Lanka and the Philipines.

Things like coffee and clothing are mostly the same kind of price as Aus. White goods are mostly a little cheaper.