It started out as a routine order for home delivery of parathas from Paratha King. Hubby and I had tasted their delicious parathas the other day at a friend’s house and had fallen particularly in love with their spicy Chilli Milli paratha. Suffice to say that despite scorched taste buds and smoke from the ears, one is left wanting more. And since mum and dad who are visiting had not tasted these parathas yet, I decided to order for home delivery.
I placed my order at 5.30pm to the outlet in Karama. The manager was a friendly man who told me that they would deliver it to where I lived (a 20 minute car ride away) only if the order was for a minimum value of Dhs100. That was honestly not a problem – cause we LOVE food. He then told me that the hot parathas should reach me by 7pm. This was good enough for me as my five year old has her dinner by 7.30pm. I give the manager very clear directions using popular and hard to miss landmarks. It went something like this – ‘ask your guy to come down Al Wasl road (which is as straight road as ever will be). He should cross the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal (and this is a signal that is hard to miss) and go straight down on Al Wasl road. He will come across another smaller signal up ahead. He should turn right before the signal. Then ask him to call me and I will guide him.’
At 6.50 I get a missed call from the delivery guy who is on a bike. I call back and he asks “isn’t your house behind Life Pharmacy?’ Kindly note that I had not mentioned Life Pharmacy at any point of time. I tell him that there are at least two to three Life Pharmacy on Al Wasl road. Which one is he referring to? He tells me “the one near Emirates NBD.” Now this place is nearly ten minutes away from my home. I am flummoxed but keep my cool and tell him that I have no idea why he thinks my house is there, but it is not. And then I proceed to give the above directions again.
At 7.20 or so there is another missed call. I call back and he says, “I have taken the right and I can see Sayana restaurant. Where is your house?” I am beginning to lose my cool. I tell him I have never come across such a restaurant and ask him to spell out the name. He spells it out. So I tell him that the Zaina Restaurant turning that he has taken is the wrong one. It is in fact before the aforementioned signal. And I now give him renewed directions to get back on Al Wasl road. I ask him to give me a missed call after he crosses the signal.
At 7.40 I decide to call him. He picks up the phone. I ask him, “Where are you?” He says, “I am headed towards the Irani Hospital.” I lose it. I ask him what makes him think he is going to reach my place if he drives in the opposite direction. He says, “Oh!” I give him the directions to the signal again – which goes like this – “take a U-turn and drive straight. After the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal stop the bike and give me the missed call.”
For added measure I call his manager up and let rip. Then take a few calming breaths and give him the directions again and tell him to call up his delivery guy and explain the idea of coming down a straight road to him.
By now my daughter is hungry as hell. My husband wants to order pizza. But I have made it my mission to get this guy to deliver my parathas to my home. Come what may.
At 7.50 I call him again. I ask him, “Where are you?” He sweetly says, “I can see Spinneys on my left.” I close my eyes, meditate, count to ten and then ask him, “Why are you there? I asked you to call me after the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal. Not only have you crossed that signal, but you have crossed two more signals!” So this man (who I am sure is a test sent down by God) asks me, “Oh should I take a U-turn and come back?”
I mentally stab him and then say, “Yes you should.” I proceed to give directions to my home now from the other side of Al Wasl road. Finally at 8pm the man lands up at my doorstep. He is sheepish and apologetic. But I am too tired to yell at him. My mother also steps out to make sure that I don’t kill him. She needn’t have worried. I didn’t have the strength to do anything but pay for the now cold (but must say still yummy) parathas. Hubby says that that night I kept saying, ‘go straight, cross the signal and call me’ in my sleep. Do you blame me!?