I won two tickets in a raffle draw to a pop concert and invited my wife, but she refused saying it would be embarrassing.
Usually I don’t question women’s logic, but this time I had to ask. “How will going to a pop concert be awkward?” I said.
“First of all, you are so out of touch”, she said. “No one says concert anymore; it is a gig,” she said. “If any of my students sees me, it will uncomfortable trying to explain what I was doing there. I don’t even know any of his songs. Do you?” she asked.
Luckily I had read the report by our music reporter in the tabloid! a day earlier and there was a box which mentioned what she would love to hear the pop star and heartthrob Enrique Iglesias sing. “Sure, I am not so behind times you know,” I told her and rattled off the songs: Bailamos (I didn’t know what that meant and fortunately for me, my wife did not ask), Hero, Not in Love, I said proudly.
“You Googled it earlier,” she accused me.
The tickets were Dh295 each and trashing them seemed such a waste, so I asked my sons. “No thanks, dad,” said both of them without looking up from their iPod and iPad (If you have noticed, my children are not from the “me” generation, but from the “i” generation).
So I went back to my wife and bribed her to come, saying that I would take her to a nice place for dinner some time.
We took the Metro, fearing a huge traffic jam at the World Trade Centre, where the “gig” was being held. It was billed as the biggest ever in the Middle East and the box office was expecting a hysterical crowd of thousands who were being given a chance to hear their Spanish idol live on stage and up close in Dubai.
But even so, we were not prepared for the crowd that was building up for the show that was supposed to start sometime after 10pm. There was a long, snaking queue at 7.30pm that seemed to start somewhere near the Ibis Hotel and trailed off down the road next to the Metro station.
“We have tickets,” I proudly told the lone security guy and tried to push my way forward. “This line is for people with tickets,” he said, pointing to the distance.
My Blackberry’s battery ran out as we stood in the queue, so there was nothing else to do expect talk, which at first seemed unusual for me and my wife. After some time, we realised we were surrounded by young people.
“Oooh, cool shorts!” said the teenager behind me, as she looked with green eyes at another girl who was getting down from the Metro with a bunch of guys. When we finally reached inside, after we were tagged and our bags searched to see if we were carrying food and drinks, I asked my wife if she would be dancing.
She pointed to the chairs in the back and we made our way to two corner seats and sat down. The sound from the stage, miles away, was deafening. “They should show him on the big screens, I can’t see at all,” my wife shouted.
“This is just the warm-up band,” I shouted back, looking around in case somebody had heard.
“I am hungry. If you see the guy with the tray, shout,” said my wife. “You must be joking,” I said, as the decibel level climbed up as the hour ticked by slowly.
Then, finally, as I was getting pins and needles in my feet, “ei” came on stage and the huge hall reverberated with the screams.