22 May 2009

God does not hit with a stick

The authorities in Bahrain have a bit of a problem with road planning; one plain example of their utter failure to be able to complete a project with any form of efficiency is the Sitra Causeway. If you don't know Bahrain, Sitra is a little island just off the mainland (also an island), and they are both connected via Sitra Causeway. Two lanes forward, two lanes back.

Increases in the volume of traffic over the past 10 years have made Sitra Causway about as useful as smelly used underwear (which really isn't very useful unless you're pretty creative about what you do with it). A strip of road a little over 3km long takes a good 30 minutes to cross; that's the equivalent of driving at approximately 4.5km an hour. Average human walking speed is closer to 6km/hr, so if you drove across and I walked across, I would literally get there before you.


This was before the Ministry of Road Destruction decided to do anything about it; they put a plan where they figured, 2 lanes is obviously not enough, so let's have 3 (with a department that supposedly plans things you would have expected them to increase it to 4 or 5 so that they wouldn't need to do another expansion over the next few years, but hey that's them for you). This meant completely redoing the causeway, and digging up half of the land on the Manama side of things to make for (supposedly) better flowing traffic as you exit. Supposedly a job that in my point of view should take a good 6-12 months at a maximum, it has been ongoing since mid-2007, and from the speed at which they're doing things is nowhere near completion anytime within the next 2 years. The total mess they've made has managed to slow traffic down even more, and now it sometimes takes up to an hour to cross the causeway (which now means that if you get in your car and drive across, and I set a tiny puppy to cross with 3 broken legs, he would probably get to the end before you).


I've vented a bit and sort of steered off the topic of this post; God does not hit with a stick is the literal translation of the Arabic saying الله ما يطق بعصى which means that if you do something bad, God won't come back and beat you with a stick, but you will be punished somehow. Sort of like karma.

Thursday night, me and Nibz were driving back to Manama from Riffa and made the stupid mistake of deciding to take the Sitra Causeway route. Now there are two lanes going back, but there is a third emergency lane where anyone who has broken down can stop. People who don't enjoy the long wait sometimes think it is their right to use this as an actual driving lane and bypass everyone else waiting. Jerkoffs.

As we got halfway through the causeway (about half an hour later), we heard shouting from about two cars behind; a quick look in the rear view mirror told the story. Some young dude, being the jerkoff that he is, decided he wants to overtake everyone else via emergency lane, and apparently an old guy in a beat-up pickup felt this was a little disrespectful and swerved a little to block his path. Mr. Jerkoff got a little annoyed at this, and started shouting at the old man from his window, who didn't really care to listen. The dude stepped out of the car and went all the way around to the old man's door, opened it and started screaming about how the old guy had no right to do that and how he was going to "show him who he was". After a minute of fuming and screaming and almost punching the old guy, jerkoff went back to his car and burnt rubber as he overtook the old man (scratching his side mirror along the way).

We had a bit of a laugh about this as we drove along, sort of annoyed that a jackoff like that was allowed to do whatever he wanted. Drove along the causeway for another half hour, and we could see the old man 2 cars behind us, driving along following all the rules.

Almost at the end of the bridge, there was a bit of a bottle-neck. Seems a car had broken down, and funnily enough it was our old friend Mr. Jerkoff; this gave us a huge laugh and we just hoped the old man would come by and see this. Jerkoff managed to start his car, however, and drove a few meters then stopped as his engine failed one more time. As we overtook him we could see the look of frustration in his eye as he tried to start his car again, checking his rear-view every few seconds just to make sure the old dude doesn't pass him.

But he did! We had the biggest laugh and totally cracked up watching the old man cross, give jerkoff a quick nonchalant look and drive across with the biggest grin on his face. That was lovely. Just lovely.

Moral of the story? If you're going to be screaming at old people you try to overtake on the highway, make sure you get your engine serviced first.

Or at least be nice to people.


Anonymous said...

Hah! ... i love how life teaches u stuff :) btw, since all the construction over at sitra bridge, I never bothered driving there since 2007!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to stupid road constructions, it's exactly the same problem in both Kuwait and France.

But I've never seen anyone taking the emergency lane in France that's for sure.

Farukh Bashir said...

(which now means that if you get in your car and drive across, and I set a tiny puppy to cross with 3 broken legs, he would probably get to the end before you).

yeah i gotta assess the damage to my keyboard and screen. not to read your blog while drinking anything. Will laugh and then something get borked.

Nice post mate and funny as hell.

lizardo said...

nice story !

if i were u i would block him right after he passed the old dude!

btw, they're doing what they are doing to make it a non-stop intersection NOT to make the bridge 3 lines highway!
just fot information,, not for showingup!

ammaro said...

lizardo; i dunno what they're doing and i honestly don't care. whatever it is they're doing, they're doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

The problem my friend, is that the Road Ministry is not a private firm or doesnt have expats (who worry for their jobs) running the show. Bahrain had one of the best government departments in the 70s/80s. People were more productive - work was done with responsibility. Now its become like government institutions in 3rd world countries. The irony is that this lack of speed and delay in road construction pisses off the same people who are delaying it.

About jerkoffs - they are almost, unfortunately the new face of today's Bahraini generation. I'd like to see them do the same in the West or some Asian country.

Redbelt said...

GREAT! I HATE these fucking jerkoffs. I'd probably go out of the car and pick a fight with him. well... if me wife wasn't tagging along. no need to scare her.

Anonymous said...

This is hillarious. I guess the jerkoff, had it coming. I totally believe in Karma. The only time in life I cheated, was at a ski resort where I decided to sneak in the line. Long story short I fell down and broke my leg. Validating your point, people get what they deserve.

Anonymous said...

well honestly in gcc countries the emergency lane they use it like a regular lane sometimes specially when theirs stupid construction so the old gut was really stubborn and disrespectful its not like the road or land belongs to his father but also the jerckoff should of talked nicely to the old man