Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Third Time Hydrant – Erich

I know you've been expectant. Yes, I did get a picture of a fire hydrant in Al Ain, UAE. Here it is.
Wait, wait, there's a story to this one
It wasn't easy to find a hydrant, by the way. They don't seem to have them in the neighborhoods of Al Ain. I'm not sure how they handle fires and the water needed to fight them. But I did find this one.

However, I didn't take a picture of it when I first saw it. I didn't even take it the second time I passed the hydrant. It wasn't until the third time that took the photo. And why? Well, that's a bit of a story.

You see, we had a bad stretch there for a couple of days. Two hamsters and one turkey that we were caring for died. We were house sitting. We were caring for ducks and chicks and geese (better scurry) and turkeys and guinea fowl and cockatiels. But that's just the birds. There was a tortoise (our reptile). Plus we cared for plenty of mammals, one dog named Orlando, two cats named Mongy and Zaine (not sure on the spelling of either), two hamsters (who so far as I can tell didn't have names), and three rabbits (named Bun Bun, Princess, and Lady Grey.) No, there were no amphibians, but just in case that bums you out there were some fish and some insects we had to care for as well. Yes, beetles, but mainly because their larvae are the food for the fish.

The turkey, it seems, had just reached its time to die. The hamsters, I have no idea what caused their demise.

That was the start of the bad stretch. Next, we went to visit the Hot Springs at the foot of the Jabel Hafeet Mountains which straddle Oman and UAE. But the water was cold! What? I should really say the water was cool. This was a hot desert, so even with just the natural warming of sun and air, there isn't really cold water there. But it was not hot as one might expect.

But on the upside the Jabel Hafeet Mountain is jagged and cool looking. Plus, right? Happy again!
I can just imagine tectonic plates crashing into each other when I see this
We wanted to go hiking up in the mountains, but it turns out, that's not allowed. Oh! Sad again.

Let's go back to happy. We did go to visit the Camel Souk, where they just sell camels. If you want, you can just drive up, buy a camel, load it into the trunk (though it probably won't fit) and drive it home. Or you could ride it.
Have hump, will travel
Now you're wondering what this has to do with a hydrant. Well, it's really about where I saw the hydrant. You see Alrica and Syarra went ice skating. There is a skating rink in the Al Ain Mall. Carver and I didn't want to go skating, so we got groceries and then returned to pick the ladies up. But when we got there, the cupboard was bare. Or at least there were no female Goldsteins to be found.

We asked at the place where one rents the skates and learned that part way through the skating, Syarra had taken a spill. The blade of one skate had gone through the other leg, nicking an artery and spewing blood everywhere. She had been taken to Al Ain Hospital in an ambulance.

Fortunately, Google Maps could find this hospital and Carver was a great navigator as I raced (though never exceeding the speed limit) there.

Side note to cut the dramatic tension: In UAE, speed limits are bizarre. If you see a sign that says 80 (meaning 80 kph) the speed limit is actually 100 kph. If you see a sign that says 60, then you can go 80 kph. Apparently, the signs are listed at 20 kph less than the speed you are allowed to go. I don't know why this is. Why not just tell people the actual speed limit? I guess it reinforces the basic math skills of adding twenty. And I'm in favor of reinforcing math skills.

Back to the main story: Carver and I reached the hospital and parked. And I did see the hydrant there, the first one I had seen in UAE. But I didn't take the time to photograph it because I was in a hurry to find my injured daughter.

She's fine. It was a bad wound, but didn't hurt the muscle or bone. She is still walking with a limp because of the pain of the wound, but it is healing.

Anyway, with the running here and there, I didn't get a picture of the hydrant until the third time I passed it, when I knew Syarra was going to be okay.

Want an amazing fact? Emergency care and ambulance rides are free in the UAE. We didn't pay anything for Syarra's medical emergency. Wow!

Lest you feel too bad for us, look at what I did discover at the grocery store.
Compare and contrast: Doughnuts on left vs. doughnuts on right
Apparently what makes a doughnut American style is the stripes.

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