House at Pooh Corner

House at Pooh Corner
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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Holiday (Summer) 2013 - A Purple-faced Man on the M4

Driving, here, is so orderly.  It is an almost Zen affair.

It is so very calming.  99% of the time you know where people are going and, you know what they are planning on doing. 
There are, even, raised hands in thanks(eh?!!) when someone lets someone else out into a queue.

Did you know that a headlight flash here is likely to be an 'awight mate, go ahead'?

Not always but in general, I find it is a soothing experience to drive here.

That said.........

..... I am starting wonder whether I might be missing the Wild West, frontier-land style driving that Dubai provides me. (not really. This is the poetic licence part of today's post).  
Where the ethos is more along the lines of: Every Man for Himself.  Big cars beat small cars.  The darker the window, the more right of way.

The 'Get Out of The Way headlight flash as I come steaming up behind you at 160kpm', is not cos I hate you but, simply, because I am better than you.
Bigger. And better. In all ways.
Richer. And better.
Also, this is my road.
I am a better driver than you, for see how I can weave in & out of these 4 lanes, packed with cars, heedless of speed cameras & the safety of others?
Speed cameras & internationally recognised rules of the road are not for me.  They are for you.

Ditto the silver Mitsubishi Lancer, crammed with no less than 6 passengers (plus driver), bimbling along in the middle lane of Shiekh Zayed Road at 50kpm.  "Indicators are for women & not very good drivers" (actual quote from a taxi driver)

Certainly, it is a high adrenalin, cynical (assume the worst of your fellow man & you will not go wrong) place.  It will never be a dull journey on The Roads of Dubai.

Enter yesterday's interesting spot of the day.  Never seen it before but, honestly, HOW brilliant would this be in Dubai?

Can you see to what I am referring?

'Too Close for 30, 50, 70'  (see picture below, if you can't see what I am talking about)

Move back from your screen by 2½ to 3 yards and the warning will disappear. Moving back towards your desk, the warning will reappear.

I think this is such a great idea.

They are called Tail Guardians

Here is another example I found on their website.


The point is that there are rules.  Rules that people abide by.  All the people.

2 years ago, freshly landed at Heathrow and, oh at last, installed in the hire car, I was tootling along the M4, westward-bound.

I gave my rear-view mirror a quick glance (for, Dear Reader, I am considerate & alert driver).

"Oh. I think the chap behind me might like me to move out of the way," I mentioned to The Trousers "But, I can't be sure.  I don't think he really means it.  Perhaps I'll wait till he flashes me?"

He preyed on my mind, that Man Behind Me & so, a few minutes later I thought, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, indicated (see how responsible I am?) & popped over into the left-hand lane.

A purple-faced man, who as it happens, DID want to get past me, drove passed & waved most vigorously.
Perhaps it was to thank me?  Perhaps He knew we were new in town, hence the enthusiasm for his greeting?

"Welcome to Blighty, lady expat foreign types"I imagine he was saying.

How nice, I thought, and waved cheerfully back with my brightest smile.

What's more, I know that Trousers was equally touched, for I could see he had lowered his head & covered his eyes.  Clearly, he was moved.

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