Can you believe it, I’ve made it this long WITHOUT commenting about the driving. To top it off…it’s crazy.
Actually, I was lulled into a sense of complacency the first few weeks we were here because of Ramadan. Hundreds of thousands of people were on holiday but I didn’t really believe people who said “just wait”. The traffic was busy but not too bad, roundabouts were crazy but doable and generally we thought ok, this isn’t too bad.
Did see some crazy things…they have side roads that parallel the main road- gets you to smaller roads. Fine, use the exit. Well…if you miss it...just drive over the sidewalk. Want to get to the front of the line?…just drive up on the sidewalk, pass the cars, and pull in front. Crazy but...we just shook our heads.
Well…Ramadan passed and people came back …and suddenly we KNEW what they meant. The traffic is SO BAD!!! The sheer number of cars on the road is absolutely unbelievable. Normally we drive for 4 minutes to get home. We live down the block, make a U turn, turn right and we’re home. OK…we left too late…the traffic was so bad we couldn’t even get out of the ASD parking lot! We resorted to driving around the school, coming out further away from the traffic light, and spending close to 30 minutes getting home. Absolutely bizarre. Getting anywhere after work is a very LONG proposition. Have discovered that many people use drivers to go downtown because then they (the driver) can drive around and around and around (did I mention that while there are a million cars on the road, there are only a total of 1000 parking spots? No, I haven't counted but you get the idea.) while you enjoy dinner or shopping, then they’ll pick you up and take you home. Well worth the money! Hey, we don't have to pay for a babysitter so....we pay for a guy to drive around for 3 hours. After all, gas is cheap here.
The sidewalk driving has increased ten-fold and speeding – omg these people do NOT understand speed limits, except for the very short places where they have cameras set up. Then you will have people slam on their brakes, drive through sedately, and speed up instantly when they’re past the range. Ironically, we also hear that the driving used to be much worse - and even faster. It may seem like the cameras don't stop the speeders but I guess it is having an impact - since we've been told it's a big improvement! Thank goodness!