The time I got lost in Dubai…

by Khushboo on February 24, 2012

As much as I like living in Mumbai, I’m slowly but surely losing my mind.  I haven’t traveled out of India since August, and definitely need a change of scenery.  Fortunately I just booked a trip to Dubai in a few weeks so hopefully this loonyness will be short-lived. In spirit of my upcoming trip, I thought I’d tell you about one of my more memorable moments in Dubai…i.e the time I got lost in Dubai.

A little background information:
I have never lived in Dubai and despite my mom’s sister (who I will refer to as HM from here on) and her family having lived there for longer than I’ve been alive, I only visited the city in 2009 when my sister got married there.  It must have been love at first trip because since then, I’ve been going back fairly regularly.  Funny enough, being in Dubai always feels like home and I’m more than lucky to have a place to stay whenever I visit.

At my sister's wedding: the majority of the back-row is my family in Dubai :)

The Story

Now that I’ve given you the background details, I’ll go on to my story.  It’s become somewhat of a tradition for HM to host an annual Diwali party…and when I say host, she basically goes all out.  Fortunately one of my 2010 trips coincided with her party which meant I could finally attend…22 years later. Preparations had been underway for quite a few days beforehand but obviously there’s always something to be done till the last minute.  On the actual morning, my ever-so-nifty aunt was putting her floral skills to use and decorating her house.  Despite being all thumbs with anything involving creativity, I tried to help where I could. At around 4pm everything seemed good to go, the jello shots were made, and the rest of the work was left to the caterers who were expected any minute.  The weather in Dubai during October to December is a runner’s dream.  To make the most of it, I laced up my trainers for a quick, 20-minute run around the block.

The first 10 minutes were tortuous, but by around minute 18 I found my groove and decided to milk the adrenaline rush.  Considering how many times I’ve driven up and down Beech Road, I figured I knew the area well enough to keep running.  Thirty-five minutes later, I turn back to head home…sweaty, on a runners’ high and eager to shower in time for my upcoming hair appointment.

Ehhh wrong.  I was completely lost, had no idea where I was, no cell phone on me, no idea of my aunt’s exact address, no contact numbers on me…zilch nada…just me, my iTouch and a bunch of construction workers staring at this foreign girl i.e. ME! To say I turned hysterical is an understatement…I thought it was the end of me.  In the meanwhile, my mom was going hysterical at home too…but something tells me it was more at the prospect of us missing our hair appointments ;) ! Despite HM telling her to stop over-reacting, my mom made my cousin Niki drive her around the area to find me.

Many tears later and me screaming “Niki” with the hopes that my cousin would hear me, I spot 2 French women and run towards them. I know our parents taught us to never talk to strangers but it was either that or hopelessly camp out on the streets!  Bear in mind, it was getting darker by the minute.

These women obviously sympathized and offered to give me a lift.  We drove around for a bit, the house was nowhere to be found but then a brain-wave hit:

HM has a tab at the supermarket Choithrams on Al Wasal Road…obviously they will have her number in their database.  That might have been the longest 2 hours of my life, but I could have kissed the familiar ground of Choithrams when we drove up. Within 5 minutes, I was on the phone to HM’s husband to inform him of my whereabouts, and Niki and my mom had arrived at Choithrams to pick me up.

And in case you’re wondering, we made our hair appointments, the party went off great, and you better believe my iTouch now stores my aunt’s mobile number, all my cousins who live in Dubai’s mobile numbers, and their house number.  On that note, I think I will have to stick to the treadmill on my upcoming trip.

Ever gotten lost?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra February 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Oh my word, I would’ve been freaking out! Once I got lost in a store as a little kid and almost died of terror, so I can’t even begin to fathom how creepy it’d be to get lost in a huge city.
BTW, that pic of your family at the wedding is gorgeous! :)

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Thanks Alexandra :) ! I think any kind of getting lost is freaky!

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Tessa at Amazing Assett February 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Ahhh how scary, I would have been flipping out that is for sure! Like Alexandra, i got lost in a small store once too and nearly died of fright. It would have been so much worse in a big city! You are brave lady
Great picture :)

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Thanks Tess!

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Tiara February 24, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Haha loved reading this ! Not coz u got lost(and I’m glad u were found :) ) but ‘coz it brought back fond memories of my stay in Dubai…
I’ve never really been lost , my folks at home usually joke about and say I’m born with an inbuilt compass but I do remember sort of getting confused around Silver Sands in Bur Dubai and frantically calling my friend to come fetch me coz a bunch of construction workers were hanging out and it was getting dark..
Enjoy your Dubai trip girl ! Weather should still be decent :)
Xx

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I’m the complete opposite- my sense of direction is shameful!

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honeywhatscooking February 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Awww. That’s scary to be lost in another country, but I was entertained reading this post. Have I been lost.. it’s funny you ask, I have to still do a post on this. Yes! I actually got lost on New Years in NYC in Times Square, totally wasted with no cell phone on me. It was a nightmare to say the least. :-)

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Looking fwd to hearing about you New Years :) !

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sprint2thetable February 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm

How lucky you are going to Dubai! It’s on my list of places to visit.

That must have been so scary for you. Smart think thing of the grocery store! I feel silly admitting this, but I once got lost running in my own city. I was in the “zone” and didn’t pay attention to the neighborhood streets I was winding through. My 5 mile run turned into nearly 10 that day!

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

That was my only silver lining of getting lost- a longer workout than planned…apparently the glass is still half full ;) !

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Ameena February 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

Dubai is amazing. I loved it! But I cannot imagine getting lost there – I’d be completely helpless!

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I don’t think I’d have so much of a problem if I got lost in one of the malls!

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Tracy's Treats February 25, 2012 at 6:12 am

I’m sure looking back on it seems humorous now, but you must have been terrified when that happened! And I don’t blame you! I’ve gotten lost before (in my own hometown to make it worse) and it scared the daylights out of me. You’re going to Dubai soon? I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

It definitely wasn’t as funny at the time, as you can imagine!

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Haley @ Health Freak College Girl February 25, 2012 at 7:09 am

gahh i hate getting lost! i always flip the freak out. just last week, i drove back to school and got lost in san francisco. and of course, my phone decided to crash so i spent an hour circling san francisco. not fun. not fun at all

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Oh man- I think that calls for a Sat Nav purchase!

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caloricandcrazy February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

Wow, what a story! I would probably get lost in India if I were to visit my family today. :P

Love the wedding pic, and glad that it all turned out okay in the end! :)

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Khushboo Thadani February 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Get lost in such a big place like India would be a nightmare, especially if you can’t speak any Hindi!

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Alexiasana February 25, 2012 at 3:32 pm

your posts often make me laugh, i love your writing style! I have already travelled so much in my life, i got lost A LOT of times, but it just makes you appreciate moment where you have everything in control and know where you are!
India is the perfect example… oh dear i felt lost in delhi every other day..

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Khushboo Thadani February 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thanks so much for your nice words Alexiasana…and I’m sure I would feel the same in Delhi :)

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Hema Mukhi February 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Hey so glad you are coming bak to Dubai and have all our numbers now. HM

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Khushboo Thadani February 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Woo hoo :-)

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Joss February 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

I would have totally freaked out and prolly wud not have asked for help…lol

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Khushboo Thadani February 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Ha sleeping on the ground doesn’t sit well with me!

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Parita @ myinnershakti February 26, 2012 at 4:56 am

This sounds like something that would happen to me! I’m glad those French women showed up! My mom would’ve called every police station within a 50 mile radius. :)

I’ve gotten lost more times than I can count. I’m probably the most geographically challenged person in the world!

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Khushboo Thadani February 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Haha I’m right there with you…my sense of direction is appalling!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

Never gotten lost, but after reading your ordeal, I don’t wish it on anyone either.

Thank god, all ended well. Including the fab party ;)

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Khushboo Thadani February 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Yup..and at least I got a good story out of it :)

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Sara K February 26, 2012 at 10:59 pm

CHOITHRAMS!!!! Al Wasal Road! I miss Dubai so much, Khush! I love Choithrams, but I think Spinneys is my favourite Dubai groce-chain. And haha, gettin lost in Dubai…I think the one time I got lost was up on a ski slope on the way down around closing time. The ski security (or whatever they’re called had to page my dad and report me missing…for like ten minutes)

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Khushboo Thadani February 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

Spinneys is my favorite too- it’s stocked with all the American groceries! Speaking of skiing, I’m still yet to try it out in Mall of Emirates- I’ve only gone for a ride on the slopes ha!

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) February 27, 2012 at 2:24 am

Oh my god what nightmare! I’ve gotten lost a couple times running around Nottingham, but the wonder of GPS means I never stay lost for long. Once when I was younger I got lost at a resort in Bahrain, and approached one of the hotel workers in a golf cart in tears who drove me back to our chalet, which turned out to be just around the corner – needless to say I felt a little bit silly after the fact!

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Khushboo Thadani February 27, 2012 at 11:13 am

Haha for what it’s worth, I’ve been known to ask for directions in London even though I’m only 20 minutes or so from my home!

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Jenna@HealthyTrends February 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Oh my gosh I hate the feeling of being lost, I would have definitely overreacting irrationally like that photo said! What a story though! You’re so lucky you get to go back, enjoy it!

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Khushboo Thadani February 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thanks :) …I have a tendency to overreact irrationally!

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