My Friend’s Father Malik Muhammad Anwar is an ex-airman from Pakistan Air Force too and is working as Aircraft Technician (Engine Trade) at Al-Ain Airbase. He is taking a handsome salary 10,000 AED which is more than enough for a Pakistani Expat in UAE. Asghar however, is just managing the Hotel his father “gifted” to him. The hotel they own as mentioned in the previous post is located on the corner of Oman Border Road, Truck Round About on the road coming from Al-Ain City. It is 5 Km out of city area, a nice country side but total desert. Desert in Arabic is called Ramal.
My friend’s residence was in Dahir Shahabiya which was a good 2 mile walk from their hotel and he had a tough routine to follow. As I was practically dependent on him in the beginning as I didn’t know anything about Al-Ain so I had to follow that routine too, which started from the very next day I reached him. He had a driving license which was helping him to serve as a full time driver for the restaurant. He had to drop morning party to the Hotel at 4:00 AM in the morning and then take the next shift at 8:00AM in the morning. They had only one car so it was really hard to manage as his father used the same car to go to his Job place. When his father was gone he travelled via bus or private taxi service. There are a lot of Pathans in Al-Ain with private cars running private taxi services. Some go to Dubai on daily basis and come back and some roam around in Al-Ain and surrounding picking and dropping short distance passengers. I talked to a Pathan driver once and he told me that it is a good business and he can easily save 300 AED a day which makes 9000 AED a month other than car expenses like gas, engine oil, tuning and service. Anyway they take a bus from Dahir to Truck Round about which take only three to four minutes and the fare is only AED 2 /-. The day I started the routine was the bus ride, so we took the bus from the stop he mostly wait for the bus at, and reached the truck roundabout in 5 minutes. From the roundabout where the bus drops the passengers its hardly five minutes’ walk to the restaurant but in burning sun and boiling desert it feels like an hour run and you sweet like an athlete in race.
So the day started, I watched truck drivers from different cities and countries stopping by and eating lunches, dinners or just tea and long discussions just like normal truckers do. Good thing about staying at restaurant was that we get to eat a lot. I have never been a breakfast-lunch-dinner kind of routine follower. If I had good breakfast I never cared about lunch but staying at that restaurant I gained a lot of extra weight as I was offered breakfast than lunch and then dinner and funny thing was, I couldn’t even refuse it was against hospitality traditions. In the evening desert culture was revived by laying out a huge carpet rug in front of restaurant and people loved to sit on it instead of going inside the restaurant and be seated on chairs. Temperature is normally less in the evening as sand turns cooler much quicker than solid earth.