Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fire, flood and famine

Dubai doesn't really do health and safety.

For example, car seats for kids are optional. In fact, staying in the car for kids is optional, and you see many of them travelling along with their heads out of the sunroof and their ears flapping in the breeze.

As for earthing your fuse box, that's just for wimps - as is having a qualified electrician install your electrics.

So, it was all part of the excitement of Dubai life when our outside electrics caught fire. It was only when the fire had spread to the nearest tree, a couple of plants and was edging closer to the spare barbecue gas cannister that we realised that we had no idea how to call a fire engine. In fact, we had no idea if Dubai actually had any fire engines.

Luckily, the lack of Health & Safety guidelines mean that no one worries too much about having electrics and water very close to each other, so in a Towering Inferno-type manoeuvre, the fire burnt through the water pipes.

Phew! Within minutes the plague by fire was extinguished, and Steve McQueen was giving Paul Newman a lecture on building regulations.

Our new concern was flooding, as the entire water storage tank emptied into the garden.

As for the "famine", well, to be honest, that was just to make the title look more exciting. Having said that, Rachel and Mark were too busy trying to sort out the damage to get to the shop to buy Dylan his multi-colour Cheerios, so he had to be satisfied with Weetabix.

Characteristically, Dylan was far more worried about the lack of his favourite breakfast cereal than death by fire or flood.

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