Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Wild Drivers of the UAE

In most places of the world, the drivers have been tamed, locked behind traffic signals and penned between white lines but not here in the UAE.  Here they run wild and free.  Here is a simple guide that should allow you to identify the five most common varieties of wild driver for better enjoyment of this last open frontier.

The Dozing Roadrunner

This wild driver can be best identified by it’s slow, meandering pace interspersed with tremendous burst of speed and agility.  It can almost always be found three lanes from its intended turn.  If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of it as it dramatically swerves, without signaling, across the three lanes to make the turn.  The best way to spot this charmer is to watch out for other drivers suddenly braking or sharply veering into other lanes.  High traffic periods are the optimum time to view the Dozing Roadrunner.

The Social Butterfly

There are actually two breeds of this driver.  The first breed, the Common Social Butterfly, always travels in packs and can be seen with its head turned fully around to the back of the vehicle in order to better communicate with members of the pack.  The best way to spot this driver is to keep your eyes peeled for its waving arms and wildly turning head.  Other ways to identify this driver are by a low riding bumper (due to all the passengers) or by the slow-fast-slow-fast pace it moves at.  It’s best to be cautious with this driver as they routinely stop, without warning, on the side of the road to forage for new pack members.

The second breed, the Modern Social Butterfly, has been influenced by technology and will often decorate itself with small electronic devices.   While common, this driver is almost impossible to identify until it suddenly slows to half its original speed and begins wandering across several lanes.  It is suspected that this type of driver may suffer from hearing deficiencies as honking and shouting seem to have no effect on its behavior.  It’s is not recommended that you attempt to remain in close proximately to this driver.

The Rampaging Bull

Of all the wild drivers of the UAE, this is perhaps the most dangerous and the most remarkable.  Commonly found in large, white SUVs with blacked out windows, this driver travels at tremendous speeds and considers other drivers and intersections to be merely tests of its superior agility.  You shouldn’t have any trouble locating a Rampaging Bull driver as the flashing high beams in your rearview mirror will help them stand out against the other other drivers.  Friday evenings seem to be a prime time to spot these wonders but there have been reports of these drivers careening through round-a-bouts, decimating everything in their paths so close contact is not recommended, especially for pedestrians.

The Slippery Eel

This fun loving driver has no identifying marks but is easily recognized by its inability to be behind others.  It will go to amazing lengths to get-to-the-front.  They have been observed driving over curbs, rapidly switching back and forth between several lanes, cutting through parking lots and driving along shoulders.   I personality watched one of these shocking creatures wedge itself into the side of dump truck while trying to squeeze ahead.  They are well armored against shame or abuse from other drivers and, with the exception of the Rampaging Bull, almost nothing can stop them.  

The Drifting Jellyfish

One of the most common drivers here in the UAE, the Drifting Jellyfish goes where the wind takes it.  It is not concerned with silly painted lines, speed limits or obstacles on the road such as you.   It is truly and magnificently free!  This driver can often be found drifting along slowly in the fast lane but may also be seen straddling more than one lane at a time.  The ridged head piece that prevents it from looking to the side or in mirrors may cause it to be startled easily by another driver getting too close.  The best way to see a Drifting Jellyfish is to be in a hurry to get somewhere.

The Hydra

The behavior of this driver may behave like any of the other other wild drivers in the UAE but it is uniquely characterized by the multiple heads and arms of its unseat-belted children sticking out the windows and sunroof.  This driver believes that if one of the children’s heads is lost, another will grow in its place.  If it is extremely hot and the windows are closed, another great way to spot this driver is to look for a baby on the dashboard.   A truer example of natural selection can not be found anywhere else in the country.  

Due to growth of speed bumps and increased traffic cameras, the wild driver’s habitat has been reduced and some efforts have been made to domesticate them but, so far, they have been resilient and have kept their freedom. 

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