Saturday, June 13, 2009

Car Conked Out... The Sheikh Was Not Amused...

We had an adventure today!  We decided to drive to Abu Dhabi and show the girls where their daddy works and then onto Abu Dhabi itself for a look around.

We drove south and after seeing some camels, we arrived at my work site at Masdar City and pulled up right out the front of the main reception building and walked in to show off my office to the kids.  Niki said shouldnt we park in the parking area and I said "Nah, its a Friday... its Holy Day and the place was deserted."  So we go in and show them the office... answering Brookies probing questions on what I do all day behind my desk and then it was time to go.

Getting back to the car in the heat and the humidity, we get in and the car wouldnt start.  It was clicking over, but no spark.  Is there an NRMA in the Emirates?  Not likely and I ring the Hertz people to tell them what happened.  They said they'd send someone out asap and we head back to the air conditioned office to wait.  I told the security guard that we'd be expecting a Hertz person and that the main gate should be alerted.

The security guard, who I say g'day to everyday was a bit agitated.  He followed me out to the car and said that I couldnt park here in the front.  I said there isnt much choice as the car wouldnt start.  He suggested we push it away from the front reception (which was deserted and there was not another car in sight) and before I could argue the merits of pushing a car in 50 degree heat, my mobile rang and it was Hertz to say that they were 5 minutes away.

Now I was starting to attract some security attention and although I know some of these guys by name, they started talking into walkie talkies in an agitated fashion.  I asked what was wrong and was told that our CEO, Dr Sultan was inside and I was out the front of his office.  "So?" I said... "No, no, no Mr Clayton, you dont understand.  Dr Sultan is here because Sheikh Mohammad, Leader of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE is coming to visit him.  In 10 minutes.  And you're in his spot."

Holy shit!  The royal cavalcade was descending and my buzzbox Nissan Tiida had died where His Highness was due to arrive in 10mins.  At this point, the Hertz person came in to the compound and when the dust settled, out of the car popped a 5' tall Philipino woman.  My friend the security guard laughed and said "Mr Hertz is a chick!"  But in a flash, she pulled out a portable battery charger and we were able to fire up the Tiida.

With much urging from the security guards we drove to the far side of the carpark where the car promptly conked out again and the Hertz lady decided to give us her car and she would take the Tiida back to the shop for a new battery.  By the time we signed the paperwork, got the kids out of the office air con and into the car, the road across the site was lined with security guards and we were being waved through.

We dashed out and managed to get out I presume just seconds before the Sheikh turned up and an international incident was avoided thanks to a small Philipino lady and her battery charger!

1 comment:

Cat Balloo said...

Should have listened to Niki in the first place