Friday, July 09, 2010

fear factor

The only thing that I really and constantly missed in Dubai was my car and I was looking forward to driving it. As shallow and as materialistic as it is, car is a major attachment that I am yet to learn letting go of. Oh well, every yogini should be allowed her bit of materialism be it shoes, car or make-up :)

So in my second night in Dubai, the only thing in my mind was to get back in the driver seat and ride. (I can't drive in broad daylight because the car registration expired and police would impound the car if they catch me on the road) I started driving a little after midnight; I was curious if I really missed my car or was it constantly in my mind all these months because there was absolutely no way for me to have that in Asia. It turns out that I was still really attached to it.

Sometime around 2am, trying to follow a sign to the Sheikh Zayed Road, I ended up in a dirt path leading to a big constuction site in the middle of nowhere. It seems that the constructions still pop up unplanned in Dubai and they don't even have time to remove the signs before they completely demolish the roads. While I was trying to figure out how to get on the highway, I saw a worker walking in my direction. My initial impulse was to reach for the buttons to make sure that the doors are locked and the windows are up all the way. I immediately sensed the fear arising; something I haven't felt in a long time. Then I realized that fear was just an automatic response, coming from a deep-rooted pattern. The pattern which suggests that I am different and therefore I have something to protect from others; I am better and those who are inferior want to take away what's better or more from me... It was a moment of very shameful awakening.

In reality, I had nothing to fear. If anything, that worker who was just minding his own business walking towards the construction had more than me. He was legal in the country, had a regular job, a salary check and a purpose he was walking towards. Whereas I had no money, no job, no right to drive the car (because my driving license was no longer valid) and the car I was driving wasn't even supposed to be on the road. Why then still the fear response?

Especially in a country as safe and as strict as the UAE, it is unheard that a worker would attack a woman at his work site. I was no longer “better” and I had nothing to protect, however the response associated with it was still there... Why was I still hanging onto a pattern that was no longer relevant to my situation?

Living in Bali, it's easier to feel that I am one with everyone else and we are all different reflections of the same thing, whatever that may be. The real test of change is to feel that sameness in a place like Dubai where there's an abyss between nationalities, ethnicities, income levels, sexes and expectation from life.


  1. Wonderful article / post....great observations.

  2. Thank you Esin for the post: insightful with great observations! Wonderful wake up story for my morning!
    With lots of warm regards,
    Mia, your Liwa driving-adventure friend :-)

  3. @Miuku hey hey so great to hear from you :) Thanks for your kind comments too. if you are still around, I would love to meet soon