April 9, 2011

Who Needs Disneyland?

If you want an amusement park, in this neck of the woods, you have about two choices: Ferrari World and Wild Wadi water park.

Ferrari World's rides -- especially its rollercoaster -- are often out of service, and $61 is pretty steep for a place without a rollercoaster. The water park is in Dubai,.

So for our thrills and chills, we take taxis. Driving here is a blood sport, and it's every man for himself. Primarily because we have so many cultures coming together. So many cultures that have bad drivers.

Throw in speed and testosterone and it completes the picture.

Why let someone back out of a parking space or switch to your lane when you don't have to. By the same token, why bother turning right from the right-hand lane when you can do it from the far left -- it's no big deal cutting off three lanes of traffic. And you can do it all without signalling. You have an SUV. It's your right.

And if you're brave enough (read: stupid) you can drive down the middle of the street or the wrong way, if it gets you where you want to go faster. It's all about the driver.

Last weekend there was a 127-car pileup on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway. Yes, there was fog, but it was also just before 8 on a Saturday. Only one person died, but 59 were injured. It could have been so much worse (and apparently was, in 2008) Did I mention that tailgating is a national pastime?

I think about these things every single time I'm in a taxi. It might be sport for the drivers, but for the passengers, it's an (unpleasant) thrill a minute.

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