Their shoes are always good value. Make mental note to go to The Red Shoe this afternoon.
Drive to Deira. Try to park in the public car park behind the Intercontinental Hotel. It's full.
See spare parking space on the street. There's a "No Parking" sign. But two cars already parked by the NP sign. So I park behind them.
Off to The Red Shoe Shop to buy my shoes.
Shoes bought. Back to the car.
Other two cars parked I parked behind have gone.
Jump into my car. Start the engine. See a Notice on the windscreen.
Notice says "Do not drive this car. It's clamped".CLAMPED?? Who gets clamped in Dubai?? London - YES!. Dubai - NEVER!
Jump out of car. Sure enough there's a yellow clamp on one of the front wheels. What to do?
Back to The Red Shoe. Ask their advice.
They say telephone Naif Police Station. I do - on their telephone - no mobiles then. Police tell me to come to Naif Police Station. I telephone my wife to tell her what's happened.
Take taxi to Naif Police Station.
Explain my problem to the Desk Sergeant. He looks confused. Young Constable doesn't. YC obviously knows about Clamps. Sergeant obviously doesn't! YC explains to Sergeant.
Sergeant produces his report book. Fills in the details.
"What's this going to cost?" I ask. "150 Dirhams" was the answer. "A 150 Dirhams!!? That's steep" but I sign the report.
Sergeant calls for the keys. YC empties brown paper bag onto the Sergeant's desk. Bag is full of keys. YC selects a key with a yellow tag. Sergeant tells me to go with the YC.
We (i.e. YC and I) go outside and climb aboard YC's Police LandRover.
YC starts the engine, switches on the flashing light, starts his police siren. We take off at speed.
We weave through Deira's backstreets at breakneck speed.
We slow down. We're in a narrow road. There's a Taxi ahead. Taxi Driver sees our Police LandRover. Taxi slows down. YC flashes the Landrover's headlights. Keeps flashing the LR's headlights. LR now within an inch of the Taxi's rear end. Taxi slows even more. YC flashes his lights again. Taxi pulls over onto the pavement. YC pulls over in front of the Taxi.
YC leaps out. Confronts the Taxi Driver. YC shouts at the Taxi Driver. Taxi Driver shrugs. YC shouts at Taxi Driver some more. YC pulls out his "Traffic Book". Writes out a traffic citation for the Taxi Driver. I assume the charge is "impeding a YC in the course of his duties".
Off again with light flashing and siren screaming
Arrive at my car. My wife already arrived in her car. Introduce her to YC. YC produces his key. YC unlocks the brass padlock securing the clamp. There's a problem! Outside the clamp looks like any other wheel clamp. Under the cover plate the clamp is a nightmare! A mass of nuts and bolts secures the clamp to the wheel. Looks as if Dubai's first vehicle clamp is made in the Police Workshops.
Another problem! Tools! YC doesn't have any. How to undo all these nuts and bolts? My wife remembers a set of spanners in the back of her car. I find spanners to fit. YC and I set to work to undo all the nuts and bolts.
All undone. YC removes the clamp, puts it in the back of his LandRover.
Smiles and handshakes all round. We've shared an experience. We've achieved this together. We are friends!
My wife is wise in the ways of Dubai's Soukhs. "You used our tools. How about a discount?" she asks. Laughter all round. More handshakes. We part company with YC.
About a week later
Collect the mail. There's a Dubai Police letter. It's my summons. My Fine is 120 Dirhams!!!!! A 30 Dirhams Discount!!!!