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Published: December 19th 2012
Like many of my blogs in Qatar, this has to do with the driving. Positives and negatives.
Negatives. These people are the most aggressive drivers I've ever come across. I have had people beeping and flashing their lights behind me when we are in bumper to bumper traffic waiting for the lights to change - what the heck do they want me to do???? It is complete and utter insanity, which gives me new respect for police officers in the US. These people can so easily cause an accident and they really don't care. They pass on the shoulders, in between lanes, ride your bumper until you move no matter how busy traffic is... Roundabouts? Frightening at times! Most roundabouts are at least two lanes wide and most are three - apparently you can be in the far left lane to turn right or vice versa. Whoever has the biggest or nicest car wins.
The positive side? Usually you can't drive fast enough to cause serious injury, but it is enough to ruin your day. Another huge positive is that while you get ticked off and say choice words for about 30 seconds when someone is being aggressive, it
is quickly behind you and it does not ruin your day. Beeping is second nature here and can mean someone is annoyed or mad, but it is easy to brush off because everyone does it. Whereas, in the US you get mad and maybe try to chase them down, deliberately get in their way to show them who's boss, make obscene finger gestures (completely illegal here) and arrive at work in a bad mood. I guess, here it is not personal, even if you cannot understand why in the world they're in such a hurry!
On a more positive note, I was pleasantly awakened in the middle of the night recently with a loud clap of thunder. Unfortunately, I was so tired I didn't stay up to watch. Actually, before that, I had stayed late at work to try finish up some reporting that is due this week and was all alone in my office listening to my ipod. My office is located in the dead center of the second floor of my building so I don't get out much. My music was loud, but I heard what I thought was the air conditioner acting weird, so I turned
my music up. Shortly before I left, I went to the restroom, which actually has a window and could hear constant drips before it hit me - it was raining! Like, really raining, and must have been doing so for at least a half hour! Sure enough, I packed up my stuff and went out to my car, then accidentally stepped into the giant lake that was now in front of the office door (there are no lights in our courtyard) - fortunately, I was wearing my nice boots. :p
While I absolutely love the rain, it has become reminiscent of California, where I was unable to fully enjoy it because I knew it meant more work and stress (how would it affect my landslides?). Here, there are two things that concern me: one is a project that has called me to verify slope cuts due to rain (I don't think there are any problems, but it has me hoping that my last assessment was correct!). The second is the industrial area has horrible roads. Following rain, the many giant potholes turn into death traps because you can't see them when certain areas of the road get flooded. I
my typical breakfast
included with the hotel room, so i try to partake three times a week
saw a poor van that drove right into a giant hole in the last storm and that could not have been fun. There are two main areas where the traffic has to be diverted to the muddy sides because the last storm really ruined the roads. I do not have the beast anymore, so I have to worry that my little Sunny can navigate the roads and perilous waters. It is kind of an adventure and now that I know where the trouble spots are, it is a little easier than last time, but still a super pain.
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