Saturday, January 12, 2008


Been back in Bahrain for a while now, just started working. Feels good to be doktoring around after a long layoff, but the routine of having to wake up in the mornings again will need some getting used to. Adjusted to living here by now, so I guess Ireland is mostly out of my system at this point. There are some things you have to accept as they are around these parts, even though they could do with some (read: a lot of) improvement.

Was driving on the highway the other day and something peculiar happened to me. Not just once, but three times within the span of two weeks. I would be driving at a reasonable speed (about 110 km/hr) in the fast lane and a speed demon would show up behind me, all guns blazing. In most cases I would move over to the right and allow him/her (because women are just as bad these days) to pass. In all three cases there were cars in the middle lane and so I had to carry on until I got a chance to switch lanes. Instead of being polite enough to wait until I moved over, the drivers in this case would accelerate and overtake me on the hard shoulder, squeezing between my car and the barrier to the left at around 160km/hr. I could not believe what I was seeing. Speeding and high-risk driving are common enough, but this is just suicidial. Needless to say, it brought out a bit of road rage and I guess honking the horn and flashing my headlights were the most I could do in my frustration at those fucking idiots.

This ties into another phenomenon I have been witnessing. At times during the night, around 11pm and onwards, people would choose to ignore red lights located around the kingdom. They would slow down, see that the intersection was not busy, and would just drive off like nothing happened. It drives me insane seeing this, and even though they might justify it by saying that they've slowed down and saw no other cars coming.. there simply is no jusitfication.

All of these things, aside from demonstrating that a large proportion of bahrainis have completely lost any iota of driving etiquette left within them, is showing us the unfortunate mentality that most of them live with. This idea that they are in some way superior to those around them, that their time is worth more and that they can bend or break the law according to their wishes is simply laughable. No one is above the law, and I don't care how busy or in a rush you are, endangering other people's lives in such a flippant fashion is simply unacceptable. You almost wish you could say this to their faces, but something tells me that anyone who would do something like that without feeling any remorse is not worth talking to in the first place. Why have we turned into such a materialistic, consumerist society that is defined by the selfishness of the individual and not the love of the collective? Everyone is so concerned with how to progress themselves that they are openly willing to step (and shit) on eveyone else's heads. It a terribly sad state of affairs to find ourselves in, and I hope that something drastic happens in the near future so that we may shake off this frankly primitive way of living.