DUBAI: Good morning! So you’re off to work and are headed to the metro. Another day, another ride in a state-of-the-art, commuter-friendly urban mass transit system that holds the Guinness World Records title for being the longest driverless metro network – 75 kilometers.
According to most recent reported figures from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the Dubai Metro transported 88.25 million passengers in the first half of 2015.
The metro had a daily average of 450,000 riders, going past the half-a-million mark on holidays, in 2014. Overall, in the same year, Dubai Metro transported 164.31 million people, still according to RTA.
And as in elsewhere around the world, Dubai’s metro riders are an odd cornucopia of quirks bringing together a cacophonous collage of the daily grind that people call city life.
Here then is a list of the different kinds of passengers that make up for a really eventful ride. Have a look-see and find out which one you are:
Footballers. They give literal meaning to the phrase, “pushing your weight around.” Indeed, when push comes to shove, they often end up in a nice, cozy spot unmindful of other people’s difficulties being squeezed in tight spot. Their mantra? “Sorry, just got to do this.”
Sleepyheads. This type are amazingly unbelievable. They can give off a soft snore holding on to an overhead strap or leaning to something. If seated, you’d see their heads swinging to which ever direction the train sways. But, as it is not allowed to sleep in the metro, it blows your mind how they could doze for a quick two minutes then open their eyes, look around, then snooze again, repeating that cycle till they get to their station. Remarkable!
Singing rock stars. You know who they are. They got headsets or earphones plugged to a mobile phone. Most of the time, they have their eyes shut tight, emoting on the song and suddenly blurting out lyrics like they’re in a jam-packed bar gig.
Selfie shooters. The name gives them away. Some even has the audacious tenacity to inch their way to a nice spot despite having to squeeze through it all just so they could have a great shot with Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab in the back drop. But hey, can’t complain. Dubai is a wonderfully beautiful city with a gazillion must-shoot sights and scenes.
Are you with us? They talk on their phones like they’re at home or in their office with a voice so loud they’d rather battle it out with the PA system than shut up for a while. “Yeah, yeah. I’m on the metro. Did you blah, blah, blah?” Oblivious to the obvious disdain of the people around them.
Liar, liar. A slight variation of the “Are you with us?” kind. “Oh yes, I’ll be there in about five minutes. I am now at the DIFC station.” DIFC? We’re at Union station ma’am! Usually this type are people late for appointments or dates and trying to buy time.
Talking heads. They probably were just trying to be nice and make new friends – or stoned bored because their station is 10 stops down the track. The nice thing about them is they make the trip easier. The downside, especially during the evening rush, is that you’ve probably run out of pleasantries and just want to get home but the guy just wouldn’t take no for an answer.
The #ifeelpretty ladies. You’d be amazed at how these vixens manage to put eye shadows or lipsticks on without the lines going crooked despite the train’s twist and turns. In fact, they’re so remarkable you can shoot a video and post it on YouTube with a caption: Warning: Don’t do this at home!
Stinkies. Most Filipinos have a story or two about the stinkies. This type of riders have body odors so putrid and repulsive at times you’d wonder if they like the way they smell. What’s revolting is that people go the extra mile to hit the shower before going to work and they apparently didn’t.
Homies. These ones are easy to identify. They usually come in twos or threes and talk really loud about domestic affairs or their bosses – and they have the temerity to give you the look once they noticed you’re catching on with their little metro chat.
Gropers. These are the types female passengers pray they never encounter on the metro. Fortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them in Dubai’s metro, thanks to the police who are always on standby for any eventualities, damsels in distress among them.
Runners. Those who jump the line once the door opens and runs in and grab the nearest available seat like a rugby player would for a touchdown.
Barricaders. Lastly, but definitely not less irritable, are the barricaders – people who huddle by the entry way thereby obstructing ingress and egress. What’s so tormenting is that their station is five or 10 stops ahead and they could have just make themselves comfy way inside the train car instead of blocking the way.
So, which one are you?