Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Water, generosity and ducks!

One of the water coolers I pass every day
One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Dubai was the water coolers outside certain villas.

It is a custom here, in villas owned and lived in by Emiratis, to place these water dispensers on the garden walls to quench the thirst of passersby. And you can imagine how welcome they are!

A fancy one on Jumeirah Beach Road
They come in all shapes and sizes and offer cold water to drink, wash with and splash all year round. With temperatures in Dubai now easily hitting 50 degrees Celsius around noon, it is so important to keep hydrated. Water is key to the human body's survival and by the time we feel thirsty, we have already lost over one percent of its total water amount (roughly 70% of an adult body is made up of water). And I can confirm that a person can live for over a month without food, but only about a week without water.

This villa owner gave it easier access by placing it closer to the road
These outdoor water dispensers are lifesavers for the thousands of municipality workers who keep the roads and pavements spotless clean and the public sidewalks and gardens green; construction workers; taxi drivers and anyone passing on foot or by car who needs to freshen up or fill an empty bottle.

What a beautiful gesture and act of generosity to offer this source of life to all.

I captured a few of these dispensers to give readers who haven't visited Dubai an idea of what they look like. Next to the third one, a family of ducks looked as much at home in Jumeirah as they would on the Thames. They of course ignored me and continued walking towards what looked like a mini farm with chicken, roosters and all kinds of other birds.

The family of ducks...
A rooster...
and the open air "menagerie"

This week's Haiku is dedicated to my favorite drink:

I see you as dew,

Water drizzling on my heart

And giving me life.