Many of my friends know I’m a big fan of author Raymond E Feist. He writes a very long fantasy series, The Riftwar Saga, and I love it. Twenty one books in the series so far, and I’d read twenty. The latest book, “At The Gates Of Darkness”, was released earlier this year, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!
But I had to.
The first problem was the cost. Books are ridiculously expensive, especially hardbacks. And since this book had only been out for a month, only the hardback was available. At a price of AED 114. Which was just money I couldn’t spare guiltlessly. So I didn’t buy it immediately. But then I finished reading the previous book, and it ended in such a way that I just had to have the next one. Against such enthusiasm, cost became nothing. In a sudden burst of illumination, I realized that AED 114 was after all, not such a huge amount.
Having come to peace with the price, I was free to go buy my book. But of course, that’s when the family gets car troubles.
There’s six drivers in the house, and we have four cars, but now is the time my sister decides to sell her car. Whopee. Which means her husband has to take MY car to work. Which means with my dad needing one car to go to work, and my BIL (brother in law) needing my car to go to work, and my brother crashing his car against everything he sees and it being constantly in the repair shop, I was without a car.
On to the next plan. Get a cab. But cabs are again ridiculously expensive in Dubai, and it just wasn’t worth paying half the price of the book for cab fare for an already expensive book. So I waited. My brother’s car would be back the next day, I was told. So I waited.
And YAY! The car was back! So my BIL takes that car instead, leaving my car free. But then of course, my dad decides HIS car needs to go to the repair shop, so HE takes MY car. @#$&@#^%! “It’ll only take a day,” he tells me. Alright, I waited this long, I can wait one more day.
So I did. The next day, I was all prepared to go, and that’s when the storm warning comes. The radios are going crazy happy with the message: “There’s a storm heading this way, it’ll hit Dubai at 6 PM. DO NOT DRIVE.” Well, fuck. Couldn’t have told me this earlier, huh? HAD to wait till 5:45 PM to warn us of a 6 PM storm? Assholes. But OK, take a deep breath. I’ll wait one more day.
Of course, no damn storm hit at 6 o clock. It was well past 9 when it finally came with its thunder and rain and whatnot. But I had 3 whole hours! When all I needed was 30 minutes to drive down to Magrudys and get the book! ARHGH!
I’d had enough. I was determined to get the book the following day, NO MATTER WHAT. “WHAT” turned out to be continued rain from the storm and heavily flooded roads. No. That wasn’t going to stop me. I was going to read that book today, dammit! So I bravely took the car out, and drove through the flood. In the rain.
It was horrible.
The windows were fogging up and I could hardly see anything for the rain, but I thought of my reward at the end and kept going. My car did protest – as I was making my way slowly through what can only be called a river, it started vibrating and the “problem with battery” sign lit on. But it was still moving, so I kept on. Thankfully, the sign went off after a while, though the vibrating remained. It took me 20 minutes to get to Dubai Festival City, a place that’s about 5 minutes drive away from my house. Anyway, the important point is, I got there safely.
So I went into Magrudys, bought the book (HALLELUJAH! (and I’m not a religious gal)), and got back in my car. I spent hardly 10 minutes in DFC. Now it was time to face the hellish roads again.
If anything, the drive back was worse. The whole area around my house was flooded so badly I didn’t know where the road ended and the sidewalk began. But nothing could dampen my spirits. I had the book! It was sitting safely in the passenger seat next to me, smiling at me and cheering me on. So I smiled back and kept going. I had to turn the car around more than once to find a safer route. Once I turned into a street that was so flooded other people were pushing their cars back after the battery had failed. Thank goodness for them or I would’ve gone in there. (Yes, I know that sounds heartless, but they were big strong men and I’m a weak lil girl. So, tough.) I turned around immediately and went back, found another exit and went home through a completely round-about way. Of course, by the time I got home the car was out of gas, and was still vibrating. But hey, I got my book, didn’t I?
I spent the rest of the day happily reading it. Ah it was heaven. Totally worth it. If I had to do it again, I would. Although, my car won’t start now.