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From Doha, With Love : The Do-hell Drivers

I hardly curse or swear. But when I'm on the road, experiencing various forms of irresponsible driving, it brings out the monster in me. The blood pressure and the middle finger go up as I honk and swear at a suicidal motorcyclist or the retard behind the wheels of a poshy Beemer, who has no road courtesy at all. Unladylike of me, but really - I was once tempted to hire a bulldozer to graze the stretch of illegally parked cars along the ramp across Phileo Damansara I in Petaling Jaya (PJ). It's not funny how these immobile vehicles can drive me crazy. The selfish drivers, who refuse to pay a small parking fee at the basement car park rather take the easy way out by obstructing traffic at the ramp and the road below it, which leads to the Damansara - Puchong Highway (LDP). During the evening rush hour, the path to LDP becomes severely obstructed due to the odd vehicles which take up one side of the road. Council enforcement and the police do summon them occasionally, but I still see vehicles in the area. Every. Single. Day. And for the longest time, I wondered if my idea of a raging bulldozer could work in cases like this.    

"Don't act on it because it's a criminal offence - no longer traffic, and you could land yourself in a lot of trouble, although I do find the idea cute," said the PJ traffic police chief when the topic came up as we spoke about traffic obstruction. 

Well. Then I came to Doha.
Where the drivers are a thoroughbred from hell - a far cry from the ones at home.

The Do-hell drivers are beyond law and order, or right and reason. There is a good traffic system but from what I've seen, it's tainted by obnoxious Qatari drivers with huge-ass, high-performing vehicles. There are also manic drivers from other nationalities who put road safety in the back lane. For the most of them, patience is obviously not a street culture, and if they spent some time locating simple function buttons like the signal lights, it'd make a huge difference for others like me on the road.


Driving in Doha

Yesterday, I saw a Ferrari and a Porche, racing past at a roundabout junction while terrified drivers in cheaper cars made way for them. A giant-sized GMC behind us honked profusely seconds before the light turned green, while a struggling trailer stood in front of us. Agitated, the Qatari driver overtook us as he gave a snarled expression. What the hell. Earlier, another big-ass Hummer ruthlessly cut from lane one to lane three, without signal lights or a care in the world.

Yet they never failed to amuse me. Usually clad in a crisp, white robe and an aristocratic head dress, I'm thinking big is best for a Qatari man. Going by that theory, he has big cars, a big watch on the wrist, a sleek smart phone on one hand as the other holds the steering wheel with one leg on the dashboard. They also always have their Ray Bans on, even in a shopping mall (Ray Bans do really well here, just as much as Toyota Land Cruisers).

It amuses me more when I see them at malls. A group of friends walk together but hardly conversing among themselves, not even when they hang out at cafes. They're usually either busy punching on their phones or talking into it that it makes me wonder if they are actually speaking to each other that way!

Or maybe talking isn't their thing. Showing is. 
When I was here two years ago, a kind Qatari came over to help jump-start our car when it died on us at the Corniche. He saw us in need (we waved for help), drove over without a word, and did what he had to. No words from him. Many words from us. He nodded and left when our engine roared. Strange. Similarly, as much as they rush and race on the streets, they stop for the pedestrians to cross.

They also love to show off their other big possessions. About a year ago, a white Land Cruiser stood next to my husband's at a traffic junction. The window was down, and on the passenger seat, sat a full-grown cheetah, looking out. It must have been quite a sight.
A cat with a speed of 120km/h for a pet.


Cheetah

Comments

  1. Hahaha... The cheetah steals the show! :D

    WW

    ReplyDelete
  2. It sounds like a good place to take the bus! If they have any buses, that is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm the suicidal motorcyclist,...uh sorry about that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I adore domestic cats but am terrified of lions, tigers, cheetahs etc. Those teeth and claws could do so much damage to my fragile flesh

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's why I walk.
    That, and I don't own a car. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Chill.. why pick on the guys? A local urban legend has it that you can run into their wives too - expensively dressed ladies with their 4X4 Porsche Cayenne driving the wrong way around the roundabout while talking on their iPhone .. and its always your fault if you hit them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WW: the cheetah rite !

    GB :. Never tried it. But I don't think it's a good idea here.

    NO: I'm sure you don't have bullying tendencies as the ones I've encounters here.

    NM: surely not pets. But I like looking at them beautiful creatures.

    MDIAS : Walking is good :)

    Anon: True dat. It's always your fault when you hit them. Doesn't matter men or women.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can actually feel your traffic frustration in your writing. But I agree, there is something infuriating about unsafe drivers. However, now I want a pet cheetah.

    ReplyDelete

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