I love living in Doha.
I love the excitement you feel amongst the people here, the visible growth and the constant change. It's a true melting pot. Doha has an energy I've not felt before and the city is growing faster than most of us can keep up with.
There's definitely some repercussions of rapid growth though and in Doha it comes in the form of rubble, cranes and chaos. On arrival you could be fooled in to thinking you'd landed in the worlds largest construction site. It's surprising hard hats aren't being handed out at customs.
The by-product of living in a construction site is TRAFFIC.
Qatar has it's own traffic rules. Initially when I arrived the rules shocked me, I sat in the passengers seat gobsmacked at what I saw. I soon changed, we all do.
My integration to Doha became obvious one morning in excruciating slow moving traffic. Stuck on a busy road taking the little travelers to school, I heard a voice that sounded like mine but with a Michael Schumacher white knuckle determination "hold on tight kids, Mummy's going cross country". There were squeals and giggles from the little travelers as we mounted the curb and drove down the embankment. Number 1 between the giggles had a moment of maturity and said "can you get arrested for this?" Up until now, a question she'd never had to ask her mother.
After reading the top 10 worst driving habits, it made me consider my Doha driving habits and the habits of those around me. Any of these sound familiar?
1. Overtaking in to oncoming traffic
Oh C'mon, there's enough room for everyone?
2. Not indicating
Indicating? I'm sorry, what's indicating? I find if I just start to swerve towards people they realize I'm coming over.
Sometimes flashing the lights and beeping the horn just isn't enough.
4. Crossing solid white lines
Lines, what are these lines of which you speak? Maybe they're underneath the rubble or maybe they're under the 10 guys that are standing looking at the rubble.
5. Not knowing which lane you should be in
Oh that's easy, the fastest one.
6. Queue jumping
Why have a 4 wheel drive if you can't mount the curb, stradle the medium strip and gently push that little Asian car out of the way.
7. Not wearing a seatbelt
But the kids use the seatbelt to swing from the back seat in to the front seat, they love to stand on my lap and have the wind rush through their hair as their little heads protrude out of the sunroof.
8. Driving through amber lights
Well, ahem, now that the fine's about 6000 riyals (2,000US) I reckon we might be working on that.
It's hard to keep up with the Lamborghini that's behind you beeping it's horn and flashing it lights to move you along.
10. Driving on the phone.
How else am I meant to have a conversation with the guy in the car next to me, check my facebook AND bluetooth my brother in the back seat?
So, have I missed any? Any "interesting" driving habits you'd like to share? Drop me a line in the comments box.