Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My goodness, guys!* Where's the fire???

Where the heck is everyone going that they have to be there fifteen minutes ago?!? Our trip downtown this morning was harrowing! DH and I went after he got home from work at 10A, just to the eyeglasses store to pick up our glasses which we had dropped off yesterday - three pairs - to be repaired. Talk about quick turn around time. I will miss things like that, at some point, when we've returned to the States for good where it takes a week to get a simple repair job done whether it is at the cobbler, tailor or eyeglass store. Here? Repairs for shoes, clothing and glasses are done in a matter of hours... I digress...

Our street signal lights here in The Sandbox have timers on them - digital countdown clocks so that you know how much time left until the light changes from red to green and then how much time you have for the green light until it changes to red. They are timed for 30 second intervals. Bad enough as you are either waiting for your light to change green that cars are cutting in front of you from both the left and right - or worse - as you start to accelerate to move through the green light into the intersection someone from the far right lane cuts you off to make a right-hand turn [an oft-used maneuver called "the Saudi swing"] but must the horns start honking, beeping and blaring to "G O" before the light even changes from red to green?

Everyone seemed to be in such a hurry this morning. That we were not subjected, first-hand, to seeing major population control road carnage was a miracle. I thought for sure - on a couple of occasions - that we were going to be eye-witnesses to some "minor fender benders." [Ha! They would have been total wrecks; not minor fender benders.] The first of which would have involved a laborer transport van, thankfully empty of its passengers, as a small green Toyota Tercel-looking vehicle was weaving in and out of cars down the highway at a breakneck speed [who knew a Toyota Tercel could even go that fast?!?] which narrowly - and I do mean narrowly - like by a couple of millimeters! - missed clipping the van as it passed us on the right and then flew into the left-hand lane to speed by another car - back into the center lane where it sped up [yes, apparently it is possible to go even faster than he was going] and almost rear-ended the van as he raced to get back into the left hand lane. Asshole.

Almost all of the drivers - men* - were acting like unruly children behind the wheels of testosterone and nitrogen fueled metal weapons this morning. Only two lanes on the street? Drivers here will make two lanes into four or five lanes - everyone has to get to that red light first! Stop sign on your side of the intersection - and a "straight through" for us? Please, by all means, disregard the sign. Completely. Asshole.

It just so happened that as this actually was happening - just moments before - I was asking DH if he had seen the article recently where a British man ended up in jail for flipping of an Arab in Dubai. Believe it or not, I was purposely sitting on my hands while telling DH about it - and - just as we were entering the intersection that the "other driver" had a stop sign for - which, by the way - it was quite vividly apparent that he wasn't going to bother stopping for - my hand flew up from underneath me to the window. I could not help, nor restrain, myself. Birds happen. The guy deserved it. [He deserved to be slapped, at the very least! Just let me at him...]

There were a few other minor and narrow mishaps that we witnessed - but our trip home was worse than our trip to town. Horns and honks blaring and emanating from almost every vehicle. No civility at all. None. Whatsoever. Cars passing on all sides regardless of whether there were lanes to pass or not. [I know I've written in posts, here, before that a breakdown lane is regarded as just another high-speed passing lane in The Sandbox.] Downright dangerous. Not a traffic policeman anywhere to be seen. Not a single one. [Not that it would matter; they don't stop and ticket drivers for their total disregard and callousness and lawbreaking anyway.]

As we were on the final stretch home and driving down the highway at a speed [much faster than the posted speed limit, I might add - but if no one else is following the signs - and DH was just keeping up with traffic...], TWO white Ford LTD-looking vehicles - yes, two of them - were pushing everyone out of their way by flashing their lights and racing to get somewhere and passing IN THE BREAK-DOWN LANE on the left side of a three five-lane highway - both drivers behaving manically and wildly - trying, one can only surmise - to kill everyone in their path but somehow adeptly not succeeding in doing so. What caught my attention was that one of the cars was carrying probably SIX SMALL CHILDREN and NOT A SINGLE ONE WAS restrained. I could see them all crawling over each other in the front and back seat for the minute or so as they were passing us - before speeding out of view. One of the children was actually laying in the back window ledge area! My gosh, guys. Get a grip. Do us ALL a favor and slow the f^ck down before we all get killed!

*Guys / Men / Boys - There are NO women drivers in The Sandbox.


  1. I think it must be something to do with your part of the world, as Angry in Oman is always writing about how bad the drivers are over there.

    In case I don't get a chance to email you, a Merry Christmas to you and your dh (oh and the kids as well!!),


  2. AIO's drivers can't hold a candle to the drivers, here, Gill! Oh, sure, maybe they are bad there, in Oman, as well, but I think we get to take the "prize" for the world's worst!!!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well Gill!


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