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04 September, 2004

Camel chase

The beautiful oasis city of Al Ain/Buraimi is well known for its camel souq. Tucked away in a sandy, desert area on the outskirts of the city, it features dodgy bearded subcons trying to screw hundreds of dirhams out of unwary tourists for so much as looking at a humped quadruped.

Al Ain is far less well known for runaway camels dodging cars and trucks Frogger-style through the modern city centre. But today was a special day: the very day that a cretinous camel driver decided to lead a mother and baby through the university car park past the main road, not bothering to leash the young one.

Unsurprisingly, the baby camel bolted at the first opportunity through a gate and out into the fast-moving traffic flow. The camel driver did nothing, he just walked on. The camel driver's mate did nothing. Instead, random passers-by were left to rush out and halt traffic, while chasing the terrified beast down with the aid of a few drivers who stopped their cars to help.

The hero of the day was a valiant dishdash who lost a shoe (a white leather sandal) as he raced to grab the bellowing camel's tail and pull it off the road.

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