No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees. There is nothing in the desert and no man needs nothing

(Prince Feisal, Lawrence of Arabia)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

"Being born under an unlucky star"

'Laymen and professional researchers alike have often asked themselves whether the concept of "being born under an unlucky star" has any foundation in reality... An interesting survey suggests that the answer is yes. And what is more, this type of behaviour explains why some drivers are less able than others'

Be Smart, Drive Safe - Emirates Driving Handbook

As I sit and read the above paragraph, revising for my forthcoming theory test, it becomes no surprise that in that my year of living in this country I have been hit by an SUV whilst standing quite still, in a car-park, and have been in two taxi crashes, albeit minor bumps. 

When my friend, a man in the know, originally told me that he would come with me to my theory test and ensure I passed, I was dubious, however upon now learning that my manual on how to drive teaches of, not stopping times or general high-way code, "unlucky stars" and etiquette at a party (from a culture that isn't meant to drink!) I doubt very much that passing the theory test in this country will make me a good driver. I would also like to add that I have passed the UK standard test so I do know what this driving manual here fails to teach me.

The Arabian culture has altered my existence in many ways, not only for the chaotic driving where it is not uncommon to see a Lexus LX470 driving along the high-way on two wheels, or breaking to a halt to decorate the road with some doughnut like markings. Tomorrow happens to be Leilat Al-Meiraj meaning that the night before is dry (without alcohol for all of you living outside of Arabia).  This means that not only am I sitting drinking a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream, alone, in my kitchen (I'm as surprised, as I'm sure you are, to have found a bottle of such nectar in my local liquor store), instead of my usual after work drinks, that inevitably turns into late night ongoings, but this bottle also eats into 5 % of my salary.  You see to buy alcohol in this country, if a resident, one needs to have a liquor license that, not only costs a percentage of one's salary, but also limits the amount you are allowed to buy. Now as a Brit, trying to survive the heat of the summer desert, it is often hard not to exceed the legal limit, especially when one doesn't earn as much as my liver would like.

Anyway, seeing as I have helped my cleaner return to the Philippines to visit her family for the summer, I feel I should use this night of sobriety to make the Penthouse look respectful again.

Until next time

Scarf Girl