Dubai traffic is normally bad, but Sharjah definitely took the biscuit this morning. The airport road was jammed, the Emirates road gridlocked back from the notorious National Paints to the airport road exit (RAK to Dubai in 45 minutes! Yeah, right). If you could have bottled all that misery and frustration then you'd have a bottle of misery and frustration.
We sailed through it in the main, thanks to many years' experience of snickets, back-routes and sneaky little hops, although even out in the desert roads there were cars backed up left, right and centre. But the biggest surprise of the day was yet to come.
The little bit of desert I hop across on the way to work was absolutely heaving with cars: every kind of four wheel drive imaginable was bogged down and they all had one thing in common.
They were all locals.
Now I can remember pal Matthew getting his Wrangler bogged on a beach in Umm Al Qawain and a local bloke sailing past him, laughing, shouting in glee and waving his arms at the helpless Matt as he gunned the engine of his Nissan Sunny.
I can remember in Falaj Al Moalla seeing a Chevrolet Brougham beating a Land Cruiser up a dune in a straight race, the Chevy absolutely bog standard except for its local driver, who must have killed the clutch in that one victorious impossibility.
I can remember seeing a local driving a Mercedes up Big Red - and many other unfeasible sights did Big Red (now, thanks to the volume of cars that ply its slopes, reduced to Little Red) give up over the years - and every time there was a local at the wheel, making cars do what they're simply not supposed to do on the sand.
In fact, I have many years of happy memories of locals driving cars in the desert with incredible skill, breakneck derring-do and a seeming disregard for life and limb that has never been less than jaw-droppingly impressive.
But I can never remember seeing so many nationals bogged down in any piece of sand, let alone a straightforward set of small dunes and tracks - in winter, too, when the sand is harder. It has forced me to reach a conclusion.
They don't make locals like they used to...