Monday, October 06, 2008

Spot the Spit

A new ad from Dubai Municipality brought the first smile of the day on  my face. It shows a stained wall(Stains which look like everything from simple spit to paan masala spit to cough spit to pee(?perhaps a late night one,risked by someone when no-one's around!!), with the caption' Spitting in public areas is something Llamas do!You are different, don't spit in public places.' How simple, and how 'to the point'- Frankly, I feel astonished to see that some people just cannot give up their spitting habits, even in a city like Dubai. I mean, the Municipality's put up so many dustbins at convenient places around the city, so if you must spit, why not there? Why do it on walls, on the ground, anywhere? Perhaps it's a bit like the smoking habit- it makes the spitters feel 'I have the power- I spit where I want,when I want'? 

I feel a bit of consciousness spread via such ads might help make the city better. However, what would really work is fines- just like there are fines for incorrect parking, there should be hefty fines for incorrect spitting. A few inconspiciously dressed authorities, moving around the city, catching a few of the guilty ones, fining them AED 500/-, and, publicizing the same through the local papers- that would surely help even more in making the avoidance of spitting in public places, a habit for everyone.And, as we know, once a habit forms, it stays!
Here's wishing DM the best of luck for this campaign!

Of course, it reminds me of our cities in India. Like, Baroda,my hometown. There, anytime I'm out for a walk, my senses are on full alert. Because you can be 'attacked' by spit, anytime,anywhere- the person ahead of you might suddenly slow down and let loose a volley of spit, the person behind might spit ahead, the person in the balcony of the building you're passing by might also spit(And,if it's morning, it'd be toothpaste/ daatun spit) out, probably so that their washbasin at home lasts longer! There, I guess there's a long way to go before people reach even the level of consciousness that exists in Dubai today. But,again,once people see how beautiful a place can look without such defacing of walls, I'm sure they would take pride in maintaining it.Who will bell the cat there?
Next post coming up shortly. Time to leave for work, now!Cheerio and keep spitting,err,smiling!


Curious said...

Where did they bring in Illama's now? Don't they like have a very good local example.. Camels?

What I think will make it work is too really fine the first 100 people or so..then people would get the idea that this is not just another campaign and municiplaity is indeed serious!

Or just like the Indian Rice and Oil - ban thoe pann's and ghutkas too! :D Call it an offencse if u carry those into the country! :D

Damn - I should be working for the municipality! :D I'd be sooo wicked! :D

Dreams said...

and the award for the most hated person by gutka-paan addicts goes toooooooo CURIOUS -- clap clap clap ..

no i do agree, but i think dubai has faired a bit better at least because there are no paan walas around, they do have some dodgy ones in deira..

and on second thoughts, camels dont spit, they droolllllllllll.. yuck..

I heard they put a smoking ban in public places in Mumbai starting 2nd october and its working great.. I do hope they do this in other cities as well.

Keshi said...

This post should be read by the Municipality authorities in Sri Lanka...omg there's beetle-spit everywhere and garbage all over the roads!

Why is it so difficult for authorities and ppl to follow a set of guidelines and keep their cities clean? It seems so simple over here in Aus!


austere said...


I liked the ad.

let's see how far the smoking one works, though.

Arunima said...

yes, you could be attacked from anywhere, from the buses, at the footpath.

Sometimes, I feel like slapping those people.

AmitL said...

Hi,Curious...hey,llamas are the right animals...camels don't do what Llamas do..did you read 'Tintin in Tibet'-one dialogue goes' when Llama angry,llama always do that'-and,that's spit.I added a 'llama in action'pic,in the post,just for you!.:)
And,yep-you'd surely do well in the Municipality.:)
Hi,Dreams-why,why Curious for the award?She'd be rewarded for ultimately prolonging people's lives,na!!haha!
Can you imagine a no smoking ban in Mumbai?I'll believe it when I see it.I can almost imagine the friendly Paandu Hawaldar, telling the smoker'Ek kaam kar,woh packet meri jeb mein daal de, ek sau ki patti ke saath'...ROFL
Hi,Keshi-you're so right-but, this can be realized only when one is outside our country,and,an instant comparison can be made.Right?If you were still in SL,for example, it'd be 'normal' for you to see rubbish everywhere,and you wouldn't feel so appalled!
Hi,Austy-haha..yes!And,the smoking one-see what I wrote to Dreams.
Hi,Arunima-haha..yes..sometimes,a slap does seem to be in order.

Keshi said...

Thats right Amit...we r in a place where we can compare and tell how bad it is in some countries.