Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Driving in Qatar

You probably think I am cursing when I am talking to you on the road.

I am not.

I am saying “Your poor father! He told you about turn signals! Weren’t you listening???”

I am saying “If your mother could see your bad manners, she would be so ashamed of you!”

I am saying “Hahahahahahaha! You got your picture taken!”

Moving into my lane when I am already in it, is bad manners. Honking at me to make me let you in is WORSE manners. Didn’t you see me? Oh! Here’s a thought – did you check your side mirrors before you thought to change lanes??

Have you noticed? I let the guys in who USE THEIR TURN SIGNALS! They are communicating in a polite way. I let them in in front of me. I am nice about it.

November 5, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Civility, Doha, ExPat Life, Humor, Living Conditions, Values


  1. yep, that’s how I do it.

    Comment by Aafke | November 5, 2009 | Reply

  2. Aafke, I had some German friends visit once, stayed with me, had a rental car. In two days, they returned the car and said I needed to drive them around, the driving here was too scary for them. It’s a whole different set of rules. Better now than three years ago in that it is now more orderly, but it seems to me there are a lot more cars on the road.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Alas, I *am* the one cursing at them…at least when my kids aren’t in the car 😉

    Comment by AcadeMama | November 10, 2009 | Reply

  4. LOL, AcadeMama, think SWEET. The Arabic word for honey is “aasel”. I had to break the cursing habit. I didn’t even know I was doing it; I became aware when I had riders. Aarrgh!

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 10, 2009 | Reply

  5. Your endless posts of driving and traffic in Qatar made me feel like it’s all dandy and super organized in Kuwait, god knows how bizare it looks for those who aren’t familiar with driving methods in Arabian Gulf countries 🙂

    I wonder why we are so irresponsible when it comes to driving? Is it wealth and sudden life style changes coupled with affordable cars!! or is it that awareness take baby steps to change people mentalities!!

    Comment by Touche' | November 16, 2009 | Reply

  6. Oh Touche, I am so sorry. I tell people here all the time “if you think driving here is bad, wait ’till you see Kuwait!”

    I think there are a couple factors. First, I don’t think people have to take driving lessons before they get their licenses. Second, I don’t think some of them have to take the driving test. Third, I don’t think they have parents who remind them of the things we (endlessly) remind our kids – turn signals, side mirrors, courtesy on the road. . . it IS cultural, and even in the USA, my culture – Seattle / Scandinavian – has an unusually strong sense of law and order, conformity to community norms, politeness . . .

    Last, there are some really really ignorant drivers on the road driving what can only be called POS cars. There are drivers who clearly feel their manhood is at stake if I am ahead of them by one inch. I do not blame only the Kuwaiti’s and Qatteris. There are a lot of problems on the roads, both in Kuwait and Qatar, due to people of many nationalities not knowing the basics and not practicing courteous driving.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 16, 2009 | Reply

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