Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hitching in Dubai

Last night (Monday) I was walking, which is not unusual. I was offered a lift, also not unusual, but normally it's a white Nissan operated by someone who starts by asking twice what a regular taxi would charge (subject to haggling down to about 80%, if you're good at haggling, or double the regular fare if you're not).

Only this time, it was a yellow Lamborghini driven by an acquaintence who noticed me puffing on the pavement.

'I'm sorry, it's not very comfortable.'

I couldn't speak, but got in and sat there with my mouth open. '€300,000' I muttered. 'No, it was €300,000.'

'What do you do?'

'My family has businesses in Karachi.'

I'm not sure exactly what businesses. There is not even one Lamborghini in all of Pakistan, so the family has to come to Dubai to spend its money.

The seats are not soft, and the ride isn't especially smooth, as I had been warned, but that's not what a Lamborghini is about. Not that we got to see what a Lamborghini is really about on Beach Road, a crowded Dubai street which is under construction (aren't they all?).

It is not easy for an old man to get out of a Lamborghini, a fact I must keep in mind if I ever think about buying one. Yes, that's why I don't have one, they're too hard to get out of. And the seats are not soft, and the ride isn't smooth. The €300,000 (or rather, the fact that I can't even begin to imagine that much money) has nothing to do with it.


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