On of the main challenges of living in Dubai is the traffic. There are a few roads with seven lanes, the main one being The Sheikh Zayed Highway. I filmed a brief snippet for you here:
We spent a lot of time in taxis, watching the fares rise by the minute if we were in a queue. Then last weekend a lady loaned us her car to drive. It was a Mercedes, by far the nicest car I’ve ever driven. I’ve always chickened out of driving on the left even around quiet little villages in France – I’m happier in the passenger seat, tucking into a pain au chocolate. But last weekend I found myself on the left, in a very precious borrowed car, in seven lanes of traffic. It was either that scenario, or be responsible for map reading, which we all know is a one-way-ticket to marital strife. ‘Map reading’ with the husband means following a tiny blue dot on google maps on his mobile phone – it makes me feel completely sick. I opted to drive IF he promised to speak in an Extremely Friendly Tone At All Times for the journey.
So how did we do? He spoke like a lady telling stories in a childrens library, “suggesting” I might be wandering over to the right a bit, and gently floating ideas like “I wonder if you would mind doing a U-ey if it’s not too inconvenient…?” etc. So we stayed friends! Not bad, considering we were negotiating junctions such as this one:
Child B was in the back cheering me on every time I changed lane or whatever. “You GO mum” he said, and we giggled about me being a BLING Mercedes MOM on my way to get my nails done – ha! We actually went wrong on this junction, went over a fly-over and followed the road up a small slope to find we had entered the carpark for a mall. Colin didn’t seem keen to investigate…
Talking of ending up somewhere completely unplanned, we handed in all our paperwork the other day in London, at our long-awaited visa appointment. The rules had changed recently which means that rather than flying back to Dubai this Monday, we are stuck in the UK as we unexpectedly had to hand over all our passports!! It felt a bit like being whizzed around this junction a couple of times and slam-dunked on our heads. So here we in blustery Sussex, back in the X-reg Renault. At least it doesn’t matter that much if I back THIS car into a tree on somebody’s drive though …! Sheikh Zayed Highway? No problem. Johnny Wheeler’s drive in Penge yesterday? VERY problematic.