Friday, 21 May 2010

Driving

I seem to drive a fair bit here. It can be like playing Russian roulette, driving to the conditions while others power past at high speeds barely in control. Today's been a high milage day. I worked in Abu Dhabi yesterday so stayed the night with Debbie. We went out for a meal and had the bonus of catching some good Kiwi music, a couple who took our requests with good grace.

The drive back to Al Ain for my work day here began early, but not early enough that I didn't have to speed a little to get there on time. I've always mocked people who have those travel cups in their cup holders, people who take a coffee on the road with them. I saw that as deserving of a good mocking. I may have to confess that that was me yesterday and today. It seemed like the best way to get my much needed morning cuppa.

Today ended with a return trip to Dubai to drop Kate at the airport for her trip to New Zealand. I had to laugh when I went through to the passenger only part of Terminal 3 with her to help her check in. She had a trolley piled with way more than her 20kgs, my job was to wait with the stuff she was going to carry on so she didn't sprung for it as excess baggage. Fair enough, but are you actually going to carry that neatly rolled up 10kg+ carpet as carry on? Oh add to that a large bag on wheels, a carry bag big enough for two or three small dogs and a hand bag. What was she thinking!

Last I heard, she was at the gate with all her contraband in tact. Although she did get told she wasn't allowed something, perhaps the carpet, through the gate. She protested and told the man that the others had said she could, stood her ground in typical Kate fashion. I would have loved to see the poor man's face, I bet it brought back memories of fierce school teachers for him. So it seems my offer to pack the carpet in my suitcase wasn't needed and Kate will have another Middle East story to regale her friends and family with.

On the return trip I had a catch up with Sarah, it's been a while. I'm actually getting quite good at driving in Dubai, at finding my way around. I now know how to get to all three airport terminals without missing a turn, that I've taken a wrong turn at the times I have and how to get back on the right track, and most importantly, how to get onto the Al Ain road.

There are extensive road works on the road home. The sign I love the most is the one that says Al Foah 5km. That means I'm almost home. Tonight there was an accident on the road, a light truck, a 4wd and a car so far as I could see. The mess was horrific, debris on the road and the police cleaning up and reinstating the median wall between the carriage ways. It was awful and as always we all slowed to a crawl, went into one lane with our hazards on and rubber necked.

I hope the people were not hurt too badly, I suspect they were given the damage. And did the cars slow down, nope they didn't. Off they raced, weaving in and out at speed through the road works. I hung back, a wise choice. A friend shared a trick that works on the road bullies who power up behind you and expect you to pull out of their way, even if there's nowhere to go. If I give a flick on my indicator, a flick left in the fast lane, they back right off. It helps that I have an Emirati type vehicle. They back off, I just have to take care they don't see a petite western woman at the wheel.

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