Monday, September 21, 2009

Conquering the Bloody Roads....

Oh man, oh man, oh man. Okay, we got a car. This is both fabulous and horrific at the same time. It's wonderful to have some freedom...some mobility. It's not so fabulous to have massive LandCruisers tailing at high speeds with their horns blowing.

Qatar's roads are infamous for being life threatening. To the credit of the Qatar government, they have been working very hard to change the situation. However, there are folks who just don't give a flying squirrel about other drivers on the road and do whatever they please, at whatever speed they wish to do it. This makes driving a tense...and intense...experience.

As a throwback to the days of Qatar being a British Protectorate, there are round-a-bouts everywhere. Now, round-a-bouts are scary enough to a North American like me as it is, but to be on these things when no one is actually following the rules of the round-a-bout, and not following those rules at breakneck speeds, is, once again, heart stoppingly scary at times.

We have rented a nice little Nissan Tiida. Lovely little car. But, that is the main's little. Little cars don't seem to fare so well. One needs the biggest frickin' vehicle possible to get real respect on the road. I was talkin' to the guy next door who bought himself a Hummer. I asked him how it was for driving. He said it was great...that because of the size of it, he actually got respect on the if people feared the thing. He didn't get people driving on his bumper trying to shove him out of the way anymore, like he did when he had a Tiida sized car. So, all we have to do is save our Riyal's and get ourselves a Hummer, and then, it sounds like the problem will be solved!

Mind you, having an large, off-road vehicle would be nice anyway. As it is, I have been taking the rental car places where the rental car really shouldn't be taken. A Nissan Tiida is not built for driving around in the rocky, scrubby type of desert that can be found immediately around Doha. That doesn't mean it can't be done. I have been doing it. This poor car is not going to have much of an underside when I'm done with it, lemme tell ya.

All in all, this car has added a new dimension to the Doha experience. And so far, I have lived to write about it.

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