Reader Advisory: This post contains profanity. It also generalises people according to race. It criticizes and calls hypocritical the way the dominant faith is practiced here, and it's a fucking angry rant and rave. Thank you.
I realised three hours ago that I'm going to leave Oman as soon as possible. Things have changed here. I don't know it it's the arrival of Satellite TV, the trickle-down influence of Wahhabi petro-dollar Islam, or the gradual ascension of wastafarian youngsters who don't remember life before HM. Maybe I've finally opened my eyes enough to see that the other side of the baiza isn't quite so shiny. Mostly, I can't take the driving anymore, and it pains me to think about the underlying societal traits that the driving habits reflect.
Yesterday morning, my holier than thou, Uber-Pious Niqabi neighbour sat behind me at the local intersection and blared her horn while I waited for a safe gap to open up. I wanted to be like Maverick in Top Gun and jump out of the car, grab her by her super religious extra pious shoulders and shake the shit out of her while yelling that I will turn right when I am goddamn good and ready! Can you not see that my child is in the car and I'm not going to turn before it's safe just because YOU have failed to allow enough time to reach YOUR appointed destination???? I didn't though, I waved, and kept waiting. When she eventually overtook me a minute later, she shook her fist at me, eyes blazing.
This afternoon, I sat, radiator boiling, Thirsty and hot, child screaming, awaiting my turn in the que for more than an hour while people overtook from the left and right. Reaching the intersection the whole thing was blocked with cars that wouldn't let me make a left turn, even though they were going nowhere. They'd look over at me, and just slooowly keep rolling forward, blocking the entire intersection. Every single one of them was Omani.
I finally was allowed out by a kind guy driving a Jag, only to be cut up by three more cars illegally overtaking on the left, against opposing traffic, and turning right in front of me. ALso, unfortunately, Omani.
I have never, ever, ever, intentionally blocked an intersection, boxed someone in while parking, or cut in in a que in traffic. I'm sure many of you are the same, but can somone, anyone, explain to me why so many people seem to think this sort of behavior is ok? Why, Excatly is my time any less valuable than thiers? Why is My child's comfort any less important than thiers?
First, on the subject Muslim drivers, and the holy month of Ramadhan: You can fast all you want, be a Self righteous twit about your hijab, wax poetic regarding the importance of caring for the greater community, and pray your heart out, You'll still be an Asshole if you fail to show kindness, charity and compassion when only god is watching you.
Secondly, to my beloved ROP: I know you are afraid to really enforce traffic law, or to ticket for minor offences. I know that there is a worry about the sort of resentment and anger from ordinary citizens would alienate you and make your work that much harder. I know your hands are sort of tied on this but I am telling you for the record: Citizens and residents are ready and grown up enough for you to start enforcing the traffic laws. Yes, it will make you unpopular for a while but the society is ready for some critical feedback on their driving habits, accompanied by hefty fines. Please, Please, Please start enforcing the traffic law. We're ready, it's time.