Saturday, April 18, 2009


What a laugh! You're going to install parking meters in the Eastern Province. No, you are not. Seriously? How? Stack them all up at the door since everyone here deserves THE one single front space and parks in every conceivable manner BUT for inside the designated yellow parking lines? Are you going to put them in the middle of the streets where people park because they are entitled to? They block traffic with no regard to anyone but themselves. May as well just add to the chaos by putting parking meters down the center of the roads.

Why is it that the Eastern Province is slated to be the "first victim of efforts to curb traffic violations and bring order to urban areas." Have you EVEN tried to rationalize what you are doing? Umm. No. I don't think so. You think parking meters are going to "curb traffic violations?" Where are you getting your information from? Really. I want to know what traffic genius came up with that plan. "Motorists in Al-Khobar and Dammam will, from next month and the month after respectively, have to pay to park their vehicles in the central areas of the cities." I am going to have to make a special trip downtown this week just to show you that this can't be done. You cannot install double-triple-quadruple-decker parking meters. And, since that is how parking is achieved here, it is going to be close to impossible.

"...the zones for which the meters are destined have been allotted to a Saudi company to carry out the operation of the meters in order to 'bring traffic to order in Dammam and make the city more pleasant and civil.'" Time and time and time again I have given my best advice as to how to effectuate making traffic orderly to make the city "more pleasant and civil." Not once in any of my rants have I ever suggested that parking meters would alleviate the situation. Nope. It is going to make the problem worse. No one is going to pay to park in designated spaces with meters. Like I said, they don't park in designated spaces now. You're going to have even more road congestion and more traffic violators. Mark my words.

Start towing cars improperly parked and along with making the owner of the vehicle pay for the tow - add a hefty fine to it and make the violator responsible for his action. As far as the other "traffic" violations? You know. Speeding. Not stopping at red lights. Passing where there is no passing. All of those trivial little traffic rules? Start by letting the traffic police do their jobs - install cameras and radar equipment in the cars - let the traffic police drive real vehicles instead of the Flintstones pedal models they've been provided with, which must compete with all the Suburbans and Mercedes. Issue a point system [wasn't this supposed to have been done, already?] and start impounding vehicles and taking away the driving privileges of those violators. Do this for just a few short months and I betcha' you'd see "more pleasant and civil" driving going on around. Or. Do it your way. Install parking meters. I think we all know how this is going to work out.

And, this. I saw it a couple of days ago - would have been Wednesday morning that I did errands and was accosted on no less than three and quite probably more occasions by women and at least one man who waltzed by me and gave odoriferous proof that they refuse to wash either their bodies or clothing in soap in water and instead have chosen to use the world's most offending perfumes and colognes. I'm pretty sure I've posted on this before. I don't know the names of the "scents" they were wearing, but since they permeated ever fiber of my being - both internally and externally - I will never forget them. No kidding.

As I was walking from the parking lot [where, yes, I did, indeed, park in a designated space outlined in yellow], headed to go to the post office, a woman passed me in her head-to-toe flowing black and as she did I was unable to restrain myself with the "ehccsh" which unconsciously - reflexively - first choked its way down my nostrils and then up my throat, past my tongue and off of my lips - not quietly. The smell was so overpowering and sickeningly sweet it left a bad taste in my mouth. I am cringing as I sit at my keyboard typing this just thinking about it. And, when I thought it was over - the assault on my olfactory senses - it happened again, just moments later. A different, just as obnoxious and overpowering scent, surrounded me and I was for a short while caught up in that pollution cloud! I continued muttering to myself. Out loud. "What is it? Last day of the week and bath day isn't until tomorrow? Why must you do that! Do you have any idea just how awful it is?" Was that it? Heck no, it wasn't. A man in the Commissary who was behind me as I was unloading my groceries assaulted me again in the same way! And I was trapped. Unloading my groceries with my cart in front of me - and him directly behind me. Noooooooo!

Just stop. The directions on most bottles clearly come with instructions for a quick spritz or spray. One bottle of some obnoxious odor you bought at the most exclusive perfume / cologne counter does not me ONE USE! It should last you for many, many months. And, if your own personal body odor is so offensive that you feel you must cover it with an entire bottle of sickeningly sweet perfume perhaps there is a problem and you need to either see a doctor or try the old-fashioned method of cleaning - soap and water.

How does all of that fit in with this? The article says that some lawmakers are calling for the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to be revamped and they want to "specify the powers of the field staff." Apparently it is believed "that some Commission members are exercising excessive powers that are not in their jurisdiction and are interfering in the private affairs of individuals. They accused panel members of acts like getting into individuals' mobile phone data, reckless chasing, and inspecting women to check if they were using perfumes that "disturb others", cutting off their hairs or wearing improper dress." [Sic.] Hmmm. My senses have been disturbed on a number of occasions and I have yet to see anyone stepping in to make sure that they weren't. If the religious police are going to be in charge of curbing that type of particular and specific disturbance, then I say it is a good thing! No one should be subjected to that kind of long-lasting and semi-permanent assault.

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