Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doha Driving - and Other Stuff

Bob and I talk every day. 
 
 
Like most people who’ve been married 26+ years, we love talking about our fabulous, remarkable, wondrous, charming, awesome kids: 


Our darling, delectable, delicious, squeezable grandkids:


Money (which, Bob claims, does not grow on trees):
 
 
  
And, of course, he never forgets to tell me how beautiful I am:
 
skype action photo
 
Since Bob’s in Qatar we also discuss a wide variety of other topics like the washing machine that washes and dries inside the same drum and how when he went to the mall for lunch his group could sit in the food court’s family section only because there was a woman in his group.  That his apartment boasts not one, but TWO windows that open into the elevator lobby and that Qataris don’t give change – everything is rounded to the nearest QR (Qatari Riyal).
 
No matter how varied the conversation, however, there’s one subject that always comes up -

Traffic
   

 
The city of Doha is arranged around a series of traffic circles, which it appears one is required to take at warp speed.  Road lines are merely a suggestion.  Trucks, compact cars and SUVs compete for available space by approaching slower moving vehicles (ie, Bob) from behind, lights flashing, horns honking.  If space is unavailable (as is usually the case), well, there’s always the sidewalk, median, or opposing traffic side of the street - if you can do it without getting hit.
 
what happens when you go against traffic at warp speed
 
Don’t look for police wielding ticket pads, either.  Drivers are expected to check regularly to see if there’s an “offence against your vehicle” posted and arrange to pay the fine.  Or else…you don’t get to leave the country.
 
How bad is the traffic?  Bob’s apartment is approximately 6 miles from his office – yet it often takes 45 minutes to get to work.  So every day, we talk about how awful the traffic is.
 
And then?  We talk about our kids.


Aren’t they beautiful?
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