Recently, 7Days reported that a grandmother in Jumierah suffered a horrible fright when an intruder woke her up in the middle of the night by sitting on her bed and staring at her. The nasty man (now dubbed Safarella) then added insult to injury by leaving his shoes behind.
As I read this front page story, I couldn’t help but experience a wave of nostalgia. You see, a few years ago, I also lived in Jumierah, and although nobody came to sit on my bed at 3am and stare at me, I once came home to find strange woman already in my bed. And I did more than stare at her. I called the Police.
It all began one fateful summer night after I’d been out with friends. As I’d driven my car (Safe Driver didn’t exist back then) I was stone cold sober when I parked outside the villa I was sharing. It was 3am.
Imagine my surprise, when I found the front gate already open, and a battered pair of shoes on the doorstep. You see the other occupants of the house had gone away for the summer. I was living there alone.
Yet, I didn’t feel worried about the unrecognizable footwear outside my front door. And, I wasn’t even spooked when I discovered said door was unlocked. At the time we’d enlisted the services of a rather batty Sri Lankan housemaid, who barely spoke English and turned up whenever she felt like it. She had keys to the house, so I figured it was her.
Anyway, still feeling unperturbed (I was in Jumeirah after all) I walked through the villa and called out the maid’s name. Nobody answered, so I shrugged and headed to my room. Then, just as I was about to get ready for bed, I thought I really should look around – just in case.
I checked the living room, kitchen and bathrooms. Then I stuck my head into the bedrooms one by one. All good. But as I got to final room at the end of the hallway, I realized the door was half open and the en-suite bathroom light was on…
Still refusing to believe anything untoward was happening, I walked straight through the door. And that’s when I saw her. Like something out of a CSI crime scene, she was lying on the bed in the half-light, her naked body partially hidden by the door.
I bolted from the house, jumped into my car, locked the doors and drove at high speed to Park N Shop. There, shaking all over, I called a male friend. ‘John! There’s somebody in my house – and she’s lying naked on the bed! What if she’s been raped – or murdered?’ and then a worse possibility dawned. ‘What if the murderer’s still there!’
John, (a Canadian) was even more hysterical than I was. ‘Shit man! Shit! Where are you man?’
Me: ‘In my car – at Park N Shop!’
John: ‘That’s not far away enough! Drive man! Just drive – and keep on driving!’
So I did – until I realized I was being silly. I called the Police and agreed to meet them at Park N Shop so that I could take them to my house. A little while later, a chap in green turned up, and we drove slowly back to the Villa. ‘Okay – in you go.’ I said, relieved to see that although he was short, he was armed with a hand gun.
But instead of going in to investigate, he started waffling in Arabic and making hand signals at me. Finally it dawned that incredibly, this officer of law enforcement who was carrying a gun, actually wanted me to go into the house first.
‘Oh no no no no no! You. Are. Kidding. You go first. You’re the one with the gun – see?’ I pointed at it.
Him: ‘No no no. Please, please..’ Again, he gestured for me to go first. We argued in this vein for about five minutes, until he eventually agreed that if he went first, I would stay close behind him.
I hung back to let him do his duty, and saw him switch on the light in the room. He then burst out laughing, and beckoned me forwards. There on the bed was the stark naked woman. Only she wasn’t dead or gorily mauled. She was blind drunk and snoring.
After that, things got even more surreal, because the back-up vehicle arrived. Suddenly, there were six armed policeman in the bedroom, all giggling at the drunk chick. Then the woman woke up and began to have a truly horrible Goldilocks moment.
Immediately, I experienced a sudden surge of female solidarity. ‘Right! That’s enough you lot! All of you out now! Show’s over!’ I commanded, clapping my hands at them as if they were a flock of geese. The policemen ambled out and went to do paperwork in the kitchen.
During this time, I discovered ‘very pissed girl’ lived up the road and had somehow managed to get into our house, because in her drunken state, she’d thought it was her house. I still have no idea how she managed to unlock our gate and front door. It’s a mystery that remains until this day.
Needless to say, the policemen eventually proved useful. After grudgingly accepting that I didn’t want to open a case against the poor woman, who was beside herself with embarrassment, we retrieved her clothes, I helped her get dressed and they escorted her home a few villas away. And that, as they say, was that.
So, going back to the poor frightened Grandmother, I’d like to let you know that you are not alone, and that it isn’t always personal. Some people living in Jumierah just seem to have problems when it comes to knowing where they actually live.
Take my dear old Pa, who lived on a Jumierah compound for many years. One morning, while out for his jog, he realized he’d forgotten his house keys.
Upon arriving home, he proceeded to huff and puff his way over the six-foot high locked gate (no mean feat for a solid man of 60). He let himself into the kitchen through the sliding doors, vaguely wondering why everyone had gone back to bed. And it was only once he was inside the house, that he realized he was actually next door.
So, the moral of the story is: Don’t get drunk if you live in Jumierah – it’s far too easy to end up in the wrong bed.
And, if you happen to find an out-of-breath silver-haired gentleman dressed in his running gear in your kitchen at 6am, please, please, please… don’t call the police…