Last week, I got my truck stuck in the sand in the desert between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Because of my cycling and other training, I bought a truck and had it specially fitted out, and lifted so I would never get stuck in the sand …
What’s ridiculous is that my truck shouldn’t have become stuck .. but my 4 wheel drive didn’t work for some reason. God bless American cars.
I was with Bob and the film maker, Adam Bennett … 25 kms from a road, and it was late morning and it was beginning to get warm … I had been up since 2am, had a mediocre cycle recovery training ride so I was tired and annoyed. I didn’t like the idea of having to cycle 25kms to “hopefully” find someone to help.
But we got lucky, and a small Toyota pickup truck drove near us, and stopped to see if they could help.
Without saying much, the two men jumped out of the truck and started digging with a shovel they had in their truck … and we spent an hour or so trying to get the truck out, but it only got further stuck. (they did a majority of the work, esp. digging)
The two men told me they were from Pakistan, and both work with the construction company Parsons on a project in the desert outside Dubai. As there didn’t seem much hope getting the truck out … the two men said good bye and drove off, and I assumed left us forever … but within 15 minutes they came back with a tow rope.
After 30 minutes of trying to pull the truck out, the rope broke and we remained stuck, more stuck than ever.
Another truck drove up, and 5 more Pakistani construction workers jumped out … and immediately, the men started digging, and two of the men got on their stomachs, and tried to dig underneath my truck. The bottom of the truck was laying on the sand. I tried to help dig as well, but they said just to sit in the truck and get ready to drive it out and several men shoveled the sand in the heat.
The original two Pakistani men were still with us, by now easily 3 hours had passed since they first arrived.
The second group failed to get the truck out, and without saying much … they got back in their truck and drove away – but the first two men, stayed with us.
One of the men said he had called a big water truck to come, and the truck was 28 kms away … and it would take “some time” for the truck to arrive.
To be honest, I didn’t think for a second that a water truck was going to come 28km all the way to get my truck out … but, I did day dream and wonder how much it would cost if he did show up.
By now, it was very hot and we all waited in our trucks …
I was impressed the two men stayed with us, but I was a bit cynical and just assumed it was because they knew I would give them some money for all their help.
Another 30 minutes or so went by, and then a large, noisy water truck came out of nowhere, and all the 5 men who had helped a couple hours earlier, all of them jumped out with big smiles, and the driver of the water truck, another man from Pakistan with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, without saying a single word, jumped out of the truck… and hooked up the water hose on his truck, and with a hose, poured a lot of water under my truck and around all the wheels…then, still with the cigarette smoking and dangling from his mouth, he got on his knees in the sand, hooked up a rope to his truck and my truck … and he shouted, “put the truck in neutral,” jumped back into the water truck, reversed it, and easily pulled my truck out of the sand.
To thank the gentlemen for their time, I handed each person 100 aed (about $20) and I offered the driver of the truck 200 aed (about $40)
But they refused the money.
The original two men told me that they did this because we were “fellow human beings in need” … and the driver of the truck (who still had the cigarette in his mouth) said, “Pakistani men are NOT terrorists, so please remember today next time you have negative image of Pakistan when you are home in America.”
But I insisted they accept the money, if anything to send home to their families. But they still refused.
Bob speaks their language, so I told bob to speak to them and give the leader money to buy a great lunch for everyone… but they refused the lunch as well.
It’s a good story … and a day that I will not forget.
This story fits into a couple themes I try and stick to with this blog:
Firstly, esp. for my readers who don’t live in the middle east … and hear only horror stories about Pakistan and or other Muslims countries — DO NOT let all the negative crap we see on TV form opinions of other people and countries, like Pakistan.
I am proud to boast that some of naseba’s best employees are from Pakistan.
And also the theme….the concept honor, and doing something NOT for hoping/wanting/expecting to get something for your help other than just honorably, helping out someone in need …
When was the last time you helped someone just for the sake of helping out someone in need?…