Yves and I had been to the Dubai Miracle Garden, which is home to over 45 million petunias, petunias and more petunias, on a land area of 72,000 sq m. After having read information on this garden prior to coming here, superlatives like “The world’s most beautiful and largest garden in the world”, I was surely expecting to see more than one variety of flower. If any other type of flower had been indeed used, then my untrained eye could not identify them, everything looked like petunias, not that I have anything against it, I grow them on my windows! The landscaping had been done cleverly to attract attention, with flower decked cars, hearts, stars, pyramids, igloos etc.
After being done with the Miracle Garden (we covered the 72,000 sq m under an hour), Yves and I took the metro later in the evening. There was a big rush of passengers into the train and the train was already a bit crowded within. Yves and I pushed our way in, and there was a man standing near the entrance who clearly seemed to be making use of the opportunity to brush against many of the women passengers, including me. I made an immediate mental note of this man. Yves and I weren’t standing too far from this person and I looked to see what other mischief he was upto.
I noticed he was standing next to a girl, in fact close enough to her to be touching her and watching her with a fixed stare, while this girl was blithely chatting with her friend oblivious to the presence of this man so close to her. I was getting a bit angry seeing this pervert knowing that that girl could have been me! I told the story to Yves and he too noticed the man’s behaviour. I couldn’t really make a scene about this because I would have failed to make the girl understand what this man was doing. Instead I waited for him to look at me.
Soon enough, he relaxed his eyes and looking around saw me, and before he could get on his X-ray vision on me, I gave him my penetrating stare and shook my finger at him almost under his nose letting him know “I know what you’re upto and I won’t be standing that nonsense”. I could see he was visibly taken aback seeing me. I am pretty sure he may have tried many such acts before without having any women daring to do or say anything about it. He looked at me amazed, turned around, looked back at me still beetling my brows at him, turned around and saw Yves giving him the same treatment. By then, a few other passengers who were watching what was happening started staring at this man. This man took a step back from the girl he’d been almost squashing against, and kept looking at the ground. After a while, he walked away far to the back of the train.
I felt a little elated knowing that through his thick skin, he understood at least that his acts had been observed and not tolerated at all. Perhaps he would think about it and decide to be more careful in the future, and hopefully start respecting women some day! I also realise that in this country of the UAE, if a woman feels harassed, she will be heard if she raises her voice, and knowing this, offenders feel powerless when she speaks up. I’ve had another occasion in the past where I hit a man on his head with a book, in public, when I discovered something he had been doing very naughty. Women should dare to be more bold and speak out, the police are on the side of the women, that’s one of the better things of living in the United Arab Emirates.