Monday, December 14, 2009

Dubai driving conundrums

1. Why does the average Dubai driver keep the plastic wrap on their car upholstery? Is it to preserve that fresh-from-the-car-showroom excitement factor for as long as possible? Or do they simply not know how to take it off? It can't be that they're worried about getting the leather seats all mucky as most residents could certainly spring for a valet if they get a bit fumbly with their morning latte (despite the tales of financial woe the Porsche garage is stuffed full of eager beaver shoppers, a sign that there's life in the old showgirl still). It's a mystery - surely they don't like the feeling of crinkly plastic sweating up their thighs?

2.  Why is it that the following cars are invariably driven by selfish, careless and show-offy individuals who display scant regard for other road users - the Dodge Durango, the Chevy Suburban (as if the name of this car isn't humiliation enough), the Audi Q7 and the Porsche Cayenne. Oh and the Hummer, but then you're expecting bad behaviour from those babies so no biggie. So, are the drivers of these cars perfectly nice, normal folks until they get behind the wheels of their beastmachines upon which they are transformed into total w*nkers, or is it the other way around? I think we should be told.

3. Drivers in Dubai are known for their love of driving at high speed while texting on their mobiles, cutting directly across five lanes of traffic to make the exit they want (which they nearly missed due to aforementioned texting), weaving in and out of traffic for no other apparent reason other than a desire to make their drive home that little bit more exciting, and beeping any car they deem to not be driving fast enough (i.e. keeping to the speed limit... in the slow lane) and other generally machismo and Russian Roulette-style behaviour. So why is it that local drivers get all confused and girly-scared when faced with something as simple as a roundabout? Or a spot of rain?

4. Is there a special reward in an afterlife I haven't heard of for drivers who won't let any car in front of them for any reason whatsoever? Because otherwise I just don't get it. I saw one guy stick out his bottom lip and stubbornly refuse to move over for an ambulance the other day. Now that is machismo gone mad.

5. In England dogs are allowed to leap around the back of cars and stick their heads out of the window to enjoy the feeling of the wind rushing through their ear-fur. It's a more common sight here to see small children bouncing around - unencumbered by car seat tetherings or other safety devices - with their heads out of the window, balancing in the space between the front seats and once, memorably, perched on the parental knee 'pretending' to drive (at 80kmph, natch). I can't find the appropriate words to comment on this particular kind of ... erm... peculiarity.

Driving in Dubai offers up a mini-adventure every single day. Grit your teeth and enjoy!


IronicMom said...

Reminds me of when I lived in Bahrain. Add to that stopping in the middle of a 100km/hr freeway to invent a turning lane and I'm with you the whole way.

YLM said...

I've never been to Bahrain but its road terror reputation precedes it! Stopping in the middle of a freeway... that is Darwinism at its finest. Hats off.