Monday, December 14, 2009

"Swing down, sweet chariot stop and let me ride" Edition #2

The things that will usually get you are those you are least prepared for. Rain in Dubai is one of them. You toil under the relentless heat or the fair weather most of the year, day in and day out, that you embrace the frame of mind that the opposite and disparate natural phenomena, like rain and cold, are something from outer space.


So when it rained in Dubai yesterday, it really poured. It reminded me of this glorious day couple of years ago when the whole place flooded and we were relieved from work two hours early in order to get home safe without using canoes. Rain here usually catch people off guard. This unpreparedness isn't only limited to physical sealants and kosher water proofing on the roof; it also has to do with the driving skills (or the lack thereof) in the rain. Most drivers here probably do not realize that there are two factors to keep in mind while driving in the rain; low visibly and slick roads. Also, there seem to be common consensus amongst drivers that, if I'm confronted with a suspicious looking puddle ahead (the kind that will make your transition gear swim in dirty water), then you are entitled to swerve your car without notice in a last ditch attempt to avoid the puddle. Which could also lead to a fatal accident if the driver in the lane next to yours isn't on the same wavelength as you are (which always happens to be the case since, well, he's got puddles of his own to worry about).

On the other hand, you have got to love the RTA. They never cease to impress you with their gems of wisdom. Especially that now their informative newsletter comes on Radio with every news bulletin. And yesterday was no exception. They so conveniently blamed the 'spat' of minor accidents on drivers and their recklessness. Overflowing rain storm network isn't a big deal, really. Standing ponds are no big issue. It's always the drivers and their recklessness and poor judgement. Really.

However, the best RTA announcement I'd heard so far was last thursday, and I'm really disappointed I couldn't find any links to this epic story anywhere. Basically, the RTA were trumpeting and boasting a new record; number of accidents in Dubai for the year 2009 has dropped by 12-13% from the numbers of 2008!! And the RTA is attributing this drop to their own competence and stringent measures to curb rickless driving!!

Priceless.

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Photos are courtesy of Gulf News. The photo of the red car was actually taken in Abu Dhabi but.... you get the picture.

3 comments:

Dave said...

The best thing about the rain, is that when the mud is finally cleared away by the bands of cleaners and labourers the place always seems to look a lot cleaner.

Dubai Jazz said...

Dave,

You're absolutely right. Even the dust clears and the visibility is good as far as the Marina and Burj Dubai :)

BuJ said...

on the rain day (sunday?) it took me THREE FRIGGING HOURS to get from al barsha to mirdif... not funny.. i had to have a pit stop at festival city - ace hardware for some orangina!

anyway RTA woes aside, the rain was fun :)

elhamdilla