Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monster Trucking in Abu Dhabi

Last weekend we took our son to Abu Dhabi to see the "first ever Monster Truck show in the Middle East".  It also happened to be our first time to go to a monster truck show.  I did not quite know what to expect, and I was surprised to see something that I assumed was so typically American here.

I am still left with a lot of thoughts and questions about this phenomenon, for lack of a better word.  Maybe it feels mysterious because the announcer's voice sounds so much like the ones on the fake wrestling matches.  (Yes, I just used the "f" word.  WWF is fake.)

I am just skeptical that they were able to fix the super deluxe tough as nails humungous truck that would not start in a matter of minutes to get it up and running to win the entire competition.  Call me jaded, but maybe I've been a car owner too long to fall for this.

In addition to its reality, the show left me with many questions:

Are those white cars they jump over and crash the left over ones from the economic crisis?  Dubai faired out pretty well after 2008, but there were many rumors of people who lost jobs leaving town and abandoning their cars at the airport.

The smoke that comes out of the cars at the end of the free-style round, is that really an overheated engine, or just some fancy dry-ice compartment?

Why does a guy have to run all the way across the field to bring Captain America his shield before he climbs out of the truck?  Is there not a secure place to store the shield on the truck?

More an observation than a question - the Arabic translator just seemed to give up on Arabic all together and for the second half we had a play-by-play English to English translation of the event.  I don't think it was a huge deal because for the most part, I think most spectators who spoke Arabic would likely understand English here.  This is good proof to support an article I saw in a local paper last week about Arabic becoming a lost language in the region.

Does Ozzy Osbourne get credit for every time they play the song Ironman when the Ironman car performs?  My son was so pleased to learn that I used to sing this to him when he was a baby.. well, it was a hum because I know none of the words.  Its amazing what songs you get stuck on when you have a colicy baby.

And why is it that when a vehicle overturned, there was no ambulance to be found?  Bulldozers came in to tow the trucks right away, but I did not see anything that resembled a fire truck, ambulance or similar.  Perhaps another sign of the "f" word.  Staged and confident so no safety necessary?

The most significant observation this experience left me with was the reality that people are more similar than we think.  Yes, we are all individuals in our own way, and when I looked around I saw kids and families from too many countries to count.  The variety was amazing - various ages, religions and color that all came there for likely the same reason - to be entertained and enjoy a night out with family.

This only confirms what I strongly believe and what I wish others would realize:  We are not so different.

Picture from


najamonline4u said...

I agree with you on so many points but I think that it is not true that Arabic is becoming a lost language as only few people in SAUDI ARABIA can understand English and the importance of arabic interpreter in abu dhabi and other Arab countries are increasing day by day so you can observer that if it is going to be a lost language than how is it possible that interpreter and translators are increasing?

Pam Durant said...

Hi Najam, You make a good point. I know Dubai isn't always a true representation of what is happening in neighboring countries. One local Emirati women once told me she feels this way, but it was more around the dialect of Arabic being lost because her daughter was being taught Arabic by non-Emiratis at school. She wasn't harsh about it, but it was her experience. Thanks for taking the time to post!