Thursday, 25 October 2007

Sussing the buses

Have been asked to take part in another exhibition in November in the Courtyard Gallery. This was very unexpected and is quite exciting but does mean I need to rapidly create new work on a very tight budget. The advantage, however, of being a bit of a digi-geek is that I can create image files which only require printing and framing so less time and resources than painting. Have already done two and the nice thing about them is that they are entirely based on Dubai.

Framing Plan C fell into place yesterday too. Found Art House Dubai on Wasl Road. Not only can they can do my frames quickly and reasonably but they are very helpful and friendly as well. This was most welcome because it took me nearly two hours to get there from Al Ghubaiba bus station!

Picked up some prints from Bank Street and then walked to the bus station. Took a zig zag route through the back streets which was quicker and much more interesting. There are lots of little tailors shops and when I get some money that purple silk embroidered Salwar Khameez top is mine... assuming I can find that street again.

At the bus station, I got a very impressive looking timetable telling me the bus I wanted ran every 20 minutes. Sat down and waited and waited and waited. Sun moved round and I was no longer sitting in the shade but still I waited, determined to sit it out. After an hour and ten minutes the bus arrived but refused to let the massive crowd of people get on for another 20 minutes. The women first etiquette broke down entirely although the seats are still reserved if you can actually get on the bus. So I was right there in the scrum near the front, trampling lesser individuals under foot in the bloodbath that ensued for a seat on the bus. After waiting for that long violence is a legitimate option.

On the way back I waited at a bus stop for half and hour but hungry, sweaty and worried that the battery on my MP3 player was about to give up taking my sanity with it... I caved in and hailed a cab. Great driver... Pakistani guy who's been here 17 years and pointed out all the properties owned by members or associates of the Bhutto family on the way.

Now I know where Art House Dubai is, there are a few other buses I can probably get that far up Wasl Road but this will involve walking between bus stops in Al Ghubaiba on the constant look out for whichever bus arrives first. On closer inspection I noticed that I had been given the Ramadan timetable but I'm sure the times listed are irrelevant any time of year. Still it is worth having as is the map showing all the routes and stops. The times may bear no relation to reality but there are worse things to do than people watch in a Dubai bus station for an hour and a half. Just make sure you music player is fully charged.

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