Those of you that know me, know that I am a sucker for a wounded or lost animal on the side of the road .....ESPECIALLY dogs. It's a character trait I owe to my Grandma Eubanks and my Dad. My heart will not let me just breeze past an animal that can possibly be saved. So today in true Eubanks fashion, I flipped my car around and threw on the emergency flashers to go check on what I thought was a big white fluffy dog that was laying on the side of a six lane divided highway that runs through our neighborhood. There aren't too many emergency pull off lanes here, so I had to pull over in a turn lane that was about a quarter of a mile from the animal. People drive like nuts here, so I chose to walk in the median which is basically a big sand box with soft sand that you sink ankle deep into without shoes. No problem, kicked off my wedge sandals and proceeded to walk somewhat awkwardly through the "sandpit". It wasn't the easiest walk, but I was on a mission. It's kind of like when you go to the beach and you are making that not so easy walk to your perfect "spot".
Now, for the funny part. It took me forever to actually walk that quarter of a mile! The road wasn't very busy, but I had very nice Arabic men stopping left and right. Each of them asking if I was ok, and if they could help me. All looking a little perplexed when I said I was checking on the animal, and even then still asking if they could offer assistance. I assured everyone that stopped that I was ok, and thanked them for stopping. Sadly, when I did make it to the "dog" there was no saving it. I'm actually not sure what type of animal it was, because I have never seen anything like it. One of the guys that stopped said "cat", and if that's the case it was wild....as in something that belonged in a zoo which is something I didn't think of when I pulled over. You're not supposed to, but some people here have exotic animals including cheetahs, tigers, etc. here as pets. There was a poor cheetah that was found wandering the busy city streets of Abu Dhabi earlier this year, because he got away from his owner's house.
Walking back to my car, this time using the sidewalk across the street since I was no longer on a mission, the cars continued to stop and I continued to try to explain I was ok. Up ahead of me I could see there were 2 SUVs with young college aged Emiratis stopped at my car and out waiting to assist me. Some had already started walking down the sidewalk to meet me. The whole time I have this huge smile on my face, because I'm trying so hard not to just crack up laughing at the stupid scene I had caused doing something I did all the time back home in Virginia.
So, today I've learned I might want to give a little more thought to what I pull over for and how. I've also learned that if I ever have any car trouble at all I will not need to call for assistance. Chivalry is not dead in Abu Dhabi.