Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Driving in Jeddah

It's been about two weeks since I started driving here, and it is not as bad as I thought it would be. First you really have to change your mindset and understand the mentality of people on the road. Once that is done, it will not be bad. There are many people from very different regions of the world here. most people do not have the proper traffic training, and they just hate rules. Even police cars do all of the things below!

Some of the common things you will always see are:
* Making a dozen lanes in a three lane street at traffic lights.
* Not seeing lanes at all while driving.
* Some very very wide stretches of roads without lanes at all.
* Stopping at the right lane on the road, and then making a U turn at the lights. crossing two or more lanes who want to go straight, and one or two who want to make a left.
* Who stops at roundabouts? Who has the right of way? I still did not figure this out, but it seems that whoever can stop, should. In most cases it is those at roundabouts who stop.
And all of that behavior is perfectly normal. very few honks are ever heard while doing any of this.

It is in other words, "organized chaos".

But one cool thing is, you can do all of that too, and get away with it! Just like everybody else on the road, others will generally take care for your wrong moves. You might hear some horns, but you will probably give some to others too. Just relax, and blend in.

Two major things that are proven by looking at the streets here are:
1. Allah does exist.
2. HE is very forgiving and merciful.
Otherwise there will probably be no man alive in here. I still recall that guy crossing a 3 lane congested highway, without even looking, hearing no breaks or horns at all, and him reaching the other side safely like nothing happened. By all laws of probability and physics, he should be dead meat. But Allah Raheem.

Happy driving if you do it in KSA :-)


BuZain said...

Hilarious post :) Welcome back mate.

Shark Hunter said...

Indeed, a hilarious post. I have tried driving there and it's true, the only law here is to blend in.

Still, do take care of yourself :)

Just Google it!