The 10 commandments of the Ladies’ Compartment

dubaimetroThe following are the unspoken rules of the women-only carriage of the Dubai Metro. I say unspoken, but of course they are often spoken and sometimes even yelled aloud for emphasis.

  1. Thou shalt not peek into thy neighbour’s smartphone however compelling the candy crush or hot her latest crush. If your neighbour is reading a book (a rare sight) thou shalt not read over her shoulder.
  2. Thou shalt maintain impeccable hygiene; nothing sours the atmosphere – literally – like bad breath, BO or strong hair oil.
  3. Thou shalt realize that the place into which thou art inching is already occupied by a solid, live human being who cannot disappear into thin air just because thou standeth on her toes.
  4. Thou shalt exit the compartment gracefully, waiting till the train is pulling up at the station to move towards the door. Thou shalt politely ask the person before thee to move, at which point said person may reply with a frosty “I’m getting out too.”
  5. Thou shalt learn the fine art of shuffling into the compartment, willing the person before you forward with the sheer force of your mind, without any obvious use of hands or handbag as instruments of nudging.
  6. Thou shalt try to learn the art of keeping thy balance; there are only so many times thou canst say sorry or flash a winning smile.
  7. Thou shalt stare at any male who enters the compartment and look suggestively at the sign that says “Women and children only”. Occasionally, in the absence of any other woman bold enough to speak up, thou shalt be required to inform said male of said breach. Handy hint: Always mention the 200 AED fine.
  8. Thou shalt wear thy pointy heels with caution, recognizing that they are weapons of mass-transit destruction and self-harm in such close quarters. Thou shalt travel by Gold Class if unable to do so.
  9. Thou shalt make sure thy music is for thine ears only. Plug in thy headphones correctly or prepare to be the unpaid broadcaster for the whole compartment’s entertainment (not).
  10. Thou shalt not carry on loud, long and rambling conversations on the phone with family, friends or co-workers – mostly because there’s nowhere for your voice to go but into the ear drum of the person next to you. Thou shalt recognize that persisting in this endeavour will give all persons in the compartment the right to listen to your boss’ cute doings or your son’s heinous crimes. (Or was it the other way around?)

Are you a ladies’ compartment regular? Share your experiences in comments!

Published by


I once wrote a diary. When I read it now, it seems childish. Then I wrote a book blog. When I read that now, it seems childish too. See a pattern? I write for a living, and so I've almost stopped writing for myself. The editor who's taken up permanent residence in my head, often strangles my words and ideas at birth. So am I an optimist as the title suggests? I don't know and I don't think I'll be any the wiser by blogging, but I do know one thing - I love beauty - in ideas, in words, in buildings, in art, in science, in clothes, in cats, in make up. Fortunately, even though my pores are on display in the profile picture, this is not going to be an up-close-and-personal, warts all take on my life. In fact, I'm not sure what it is going to be!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s