Monday, October 09, 2006

driving trips for jordan

don't be sick of me bitching about driving i jordan, but it really is horrible. in case you're a new driver, new to the country, or otherwise uncomfortable with driving, here are some tips to lead a successful and exciting ride:

1. there's a strict driving chain when it comes to right of way (see 2 below). from the bottom: there are learning females, scared females, learning males, normal females, males, crazy males, crazy females, cab drivers, small bus (coaster) drivers. break that chain and you're bound to get into an accident. or the finger.
2. right of way: you always have the right of way in jordan. whether you're entering or exiting circles, making u-turns, entering garages, changing lanes or otherwise driving, you always have right of way. you may need to honk, swear, give the finger, have close brushes with death, but that's the only way to drive.
3. the colorful circle, triangle and square shapes on poles around the country are used to post 3aza or wedding directions.
4. jordan has started a "1 million bump campaign" a few years back. we're currently at 718,345.
5. all driving rules go out the window in times or crisis. times of crisis are: a) wedding pr0sessions b) iftar time in ramadan c) when you're late d) thursday night e) out for knafeh
6. do not, under any circumstance, slow down for pedestrians. you will be risking one or all of: a) being hit from the back followed by a waterfall of swears b) hearing a scary screech before a waterfall of swears c) hearing honking followed by a waterfall of swears d) being passed by the car behind you while the driver gives you a good stare before speeding off e) getting stared at by the pedestrian
7. beware of disappearing lane phenomenon: right lanes usually just disappear in jordan. sometimes it'r streets where the right lanes keeps on getting smaller and smaller until you can't drive on it anymore. sometimes people decide that the right lane is a parking space and block it. most peculiar is traffic lights: whereas the light can accommodate 5 lanes, the street it leads to is usually 3 lanes, forcing the drivers to fend for themselves while they merge into 3 lanes.
8. it's ok to park cars anywhere near mosques and qatayif places in ramadan

be safe everyone

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