Thursday

Getting stuff delivered - it's fun, really....

You wouldn't think it would be too hard would you?

Well in essence it's not, it just may be very different to the way you've ever had anything delivered before.
See, the thing is...

There's no street addresses. Or at least no one has any clue what a street address is, or indeed what reference it has to you and where you live.



Please don't panic. The good news is that that has been the way for so long that, while a little weird, the method used to get stuff delivered works.

Again, don't worry yourself with how it works... just accept that it does.

Most deliveries revolve around liberal use of the telephone, but to get the ball rolling, make sure you know your area name (or suburb for want of a better term).

All our stuff has been delivered by a third party with the exception of the Ikea furniture - that has it's own story.

We found that the best way is to get on to a mapping site like maps.google.com zoom in to your area, and print it out (or a few copies if you are going to a few stores). While using a map is still in it's conceptual stage here in AD, we figured that at least it's another reference.

We wrote our local mobile number down, (local mobiles are best - many shops won't accept international numbers for mobiles, see section on "getting a mobile"), agreed on an approximate time for the deliveries, accepted that while we bought all the stuff from the same shop.. it was actually coming from different warehouses, and toddled off to the food court with not a care in the world...

Delivery day arrived, and at the allotted time for the TV delivery, my wife's phone rang, they were to be in our area within the hour, wanted a rough idea on where we were (we are close to a couple of well known Embassies - great landmarks), they seemed pleased with this information and said that they would call when they were closer for exact directions.

Sure enough, in 45 minutes the phone ran again - and Karma gave them what I thought were pretty vague directions - but they seemed happy enough with them. 5 minutes later the phone went off again - it was our guys, they were out front.

2 guys, 15 minutes, some box unpacking, a power drill and 10dhs tip later, we had a telly/DVD on a stand.

We were happy.

The process went the same way for the fridge - although in this instance Karma was doing the directing from work then texting me the results on my Australian mobile... again no problems, and this time I sat on the front step with a cup of tea talking to the maintenance guy, which was fun as neither of us know a language that the other does. We were laughing together at our attempts to be understood, not getting anywhere, then just grinning inanely at the people passing us in the street.

The fridge arrived and the maintenance guy (I mean no disrespect to him, but our ability to communicate is so low I couldn't quite grasp his name - in fact, for ease and readability and until I find out otherwise, let's call him Barry.) went into action.. speaking very quickly and sternly to the deliverers.. I just stood and vacillated between nodding sagely and offering directions as to where it was to go. While they weren't overjoyed with the prospect of the thing going up 2 flights of stairs, they got the job done - I foisted a few dirhams at them for their trouble and they went on their way.

"Barry" and I were left to marvel at the new fridge, I then moved to remove the packing case and associated plastic wrapping, but my mate Baz beat me to it.

With a grin a handshake and a wave he was gone, with the fridge packaging and a bag he had rightly guessed was rubbish...

Now, the washing machine delivery.

Slight change of methodology here - in that we were phoned, then had to drive to meet the van behind a well known and, thankfully, close-by petrol station.

We met the van - not hard to work out which van it would be as we were the only two vehicles in the street, jumped into our car and moved slowly of and up the road toward the apartment. I figured that the slow pace would allow the heavily loaded truck to keep up, I needn't have worried - these guys had a few deliveries to get through before the night was through.

SO after a short but fast trip, with a delivery truck right on the tail of Karma's mighty VW golf - so close at times that to anyone looking on it would have looked like we were towing the truck with the volksy, we were home.

We got out of the car, FIVE guys got out of the cab of the delivery truck - it was like watching a clown car empty it's occupants onto the show ring (well, without the clown suits, red noses.. rainbow braces... big sho... you get the idea). These guys had this delivery/installation thing down to almost military precision. They also all managed to be working in our little bathroom at the same time - but then after the "5 guys in a van" party trick, I guess we shouldn't have been surprised.

I know that one was the electrician, one looked like he was sorting out the plumbing, another 2 were involving themselves with shifting and unpacking the device, and the last guy was the supervisor. All things that require any amount of technical intervention seem to have a supervisor.

Again no more than 15 minutes passed and the job was done, including having an optional water filter fitted. We highly recommend the filter - the water is safe.. but has things floating in it, things best not sucked into a washing machine's pump.

A quick run down of the controls, a list of numbers we could call should anything go wrong - and pop - they were gone.

We, having done nothing really, were exhausted by the pace of it all... but happy as 2 people with new white goods could be.

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Andrew Webber is a writer, living in Abu Dhabi with his wife, two cats and two dogs.

His first book "Erasure" was published in June 2012 and was followed in 2013 by the Prequel to Erasure, "Broken".

In 2016 Erasure was a prize winner in the Montegrappa Writing Prize - part of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature.

For more information click the "Erasure" book cover on the left side of this site, or simply go to www.athwebber.com

Thanks for visiting.