I talk a lot about the driving in Doha.
Everyone in Doha talks about the driving in Doha.
Nothing special about a "Doha-ite" discussing driving in the ME.
It's really no different than a Canadian complaining about the weather.
And while the weather can get pretty bad in Canada, -50C pales in comparison to driving in Doha on the overall "horribility scale".
(Just came up with that made-up term and I think I'm going to have inject it into conversation daily - isn't it great!)
Speeding, overtaking, driving on sidewalks, driving in the breakdown lane, traffic jams, letting kids ride unsecured in their seats, driving with kids dangling from the windows or halfway out the sunroof, riding dune buggies down the highway; the list goes on.
I've compiled a list of pictures from the commute to and from work last week.
Oh, and just for fun, I timed the 12.4 km commute back from work last night: 54 minutes. Yup, a few fit 40-year-olds could run it faster than it takes me to drive it. If I didn't run the risk of getting run over on the way, I'd probably try it myself.
Unfortunately, I'm not fit enough to outrun the Toyota Landcruisers driving down the sidewalk, nor mentally agile enough to figure out quickly whether the guy with his left-hand signal on is actually going to turn left, or go straight, or go right, or just stop ...
So I drive ...
Driving in Doha drives me crazy!
- I sit in traffic fuming,
- practice my best defensive driving techniques as I
- swerve to avoid the "Saudi Side Sweepers" (very daring diagonal cut across three to four packed lanes),
- curse Oliver Lucas (inventor of the car horn) as the driver behind me honks incessantly to egg me on through the red light for which I dared stop,
- try to ignore the guy in the truck next to me who's picking his nose with white-knuckled fervor, and
- resign myself to the fact that the booger he's just carelessly flung onto my windshield is probably going to stay there smack dab in my line of vision for the duration of the ride home.
But you know what?
Then I get home and none of what drives me crazy really matters. The nonsense that is my daily commute fades away to nothing; what rattled me to the core a few short moments ago becomes nought but a blip on the frustratometer, a funny anecdote that I'll pull out after a glass or two of vino.
Like last Thursday, when after an incredibly long week at work I came home to appetizers, centerpiece, and homemade turkey dinner, prepared by Smilin' Vic and Kiddo, who both had the day off.
And just like that, "crazy" became "thankful".
(Happy belated Thanksgiving to my American friends and readers.)