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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Art trip turns violent

Went and checked out the Sharjah Biennale yesterday. The bus from Bur Dubai to Sharjah was a synch, though walking out to the Ghubaiba bus station at Shindagha was more of a challenge. The heat has shifted up several notches these days, and is akin to a broiling for much of the day. The breeze that the creek throws off can bring relief, though in the middle of the day this doesn’t seem to ease the discomfort. In Sharjah, a mere 15 minutes to the north once the driver got underway, we attempted to walk to the al-Ta’ayun street location for the Expo building, before coming to our senses and hailing a cab. The exhibition there was essentially installations related to environmental themes. Some, like the huge, billowing arrangement of gold and red metal, largely generated from whisky bottle tops and coffee packs (interesting cast offs), made a striking impact. Others, like table tops of sand in which you could draw a roadmap to peace were total bollocks. Our efforts to navigate our way to the Sharjah Art Museum for more Biennale delights proved fruitless. Asking a taxi driver in Arabic or English, or any of the “locals” where a major street is, proved equally pointless. After walking through the broiling heat, we decided to bail out and headed to the sprawling bus station near the Heritage area. Chaos never witnessed on a Friday in Dubai or Abu Dhabi could be seen, and for no apparent reason. South Asians fought each other to get on a mini bus, as the heat and exasperation overcame the relative queue discipline witnessed elsewhere. Having been shoved from behind, I mistakenly gave a mouthful to an old Haji who, it turned out, functions as the local enforcer. He waved his rather fetching hooked stick unceremoniously at the young guys who he had just single handedly hauled off the bus for daring to enter without his say so. Luckily I was with my wife, otherwise I would probably still be there now, as opposed to going straight to the front of the bus to sit in the Ladies’ seats…

1 comment:

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