Thursday, 17 January 2008
An Eventful Drive To Work
The sandy snicket has been turned into a scene out of Wacky Races: the rains have meant the sand has compressed and has a delightfully road-like quality - enough for every bus, truck and two-wheel-drive in the country to have a go. Result: you can't get near the place without getting stuck in queues as long as yer arm. So I had to go around the back to avoid 'em all.
And then, as I get into the delicious and generally lavish area of Satwa, the aggressive jerk in the LWB Cruiser who's been gunning his engine, swooping in and out of lanes and generally jinking around behind me in the morning traffic decides he's going to move from behind me, undertaking me at high speed as I pull over, indicating, to the right turn I need to take. And so he hit me.
I got out, a tad stressy, and then he wound down his 90% tinted window.
He's only a copper in uniform, isn't he?
Two hours and a fine later, I'm still fuming. The fine was for refusing to give my license and registration on demand to a policeman. Scrupulously fair throughout the whole incident, the sympathetic (and quite amusing) chaps down the copshop accepted that I am unlikely to give my documents to someone who has just had an accident with me and who could then choose to abuse his position in any number of ways - a position I maintained he was abusing by driving like that in uniform in the first place.
But the rules is the rules, boss, they said.
Which I suppose they are...
Driving home tonight, I was caught in evil, snarled-up traffic for two hours. And the snicket was illuminated by hundreds of car headlights - mayhem and chaos that Dante would have recognised as a fitting illustration to his infernal vision. The cops were even there, Sharjah's 'Anjad' traffic police were regulating the flow of traffic back onto the tarmac as hundreds of cars, buses and trucks jostled aggressively - an enormous game of 'chicken' - to get through the partially blocked exits. Cars stuck, cars roaring in every direction, eight lanes of traffic trying to squeeze into a one-car gap, slithering on the churned-up sand.
I went round the back again.
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