Thursday, February 12, 2015

Driving in Doha

I need to start by admitting that I have never actually driven in Doha.

Womp womp 

Yeah yeah I know what you are thinking, why in the world am I writing about it when I have never even done it? WELL the reason is because it is SO RIDICULOUSLY DIFFERENT than driving in the states. I don't even have to have driven to say that! 

I want to start by saying that honking is the first, most used and most widely understood language in. Doha. I would like to think of it as drawing all together in a common language altogether. So because the people of Doha are so loving and understanding of one another everyone honks. Constantly. For reason and for no reason at all. All day. And night. 
I also suspect that the horn is the single most important feature to buyers when purchasing a car here in Doha. 

In fact there are even signs I have seen around displaying that they are no honking zones. Seriously! It is so bad that they had to make signs! 

It is pretty hilarious if you think about it.. 
Although not nearly as hilarious when you are in a taxi with a driver who LOVES to use this native language. In any other country I probably would have slumped down in my seat with embarrassment but here it just kind of makes you one of the tough guys on the road so I was just a little frightened. 

Speaking of taxis, they are also different from the states. I will say they are much prettier. :) 
Instead of being ugly yellow, here they are this beautiful sea foam green and different ones will have different accent colors on top (probably signifying the various taxi companies?) 

Pretty right? 

Although the drivers here are very liberal with their honking, they are not AT ALL with running or even coming close to running red lights. In Houston, running red lights is a way of life and everyone knows that if you think you can make it though in time that that is all that really matters lol. 
HERE if you run a red light ( and there are cameras everywhere to catch you) you get a ticket of 6,000 QR!! That is nearly $1,700 dollars!! So you better believe that when lights turn yellow everyone is SLAMMING on those breaks! 

Maybe this sign says run this light and we will legally rob you! 

As seriously as the officials take running lights they do not seem to be the LEAST bit concerned with speeding!! When that light turns green man they don't miss a beat!! Every person GUNS it until the next light when they slam on the breaks again and of course honk all the while. 

Needless to say I carry Advil with me now when I drive (ride taxis)! 

They also love a nice ride -- I know that Dubai is famously known for having ridiculous cars driving around everywhere but I must say that I am not sure if anywhere can compete with Doha drivers. Qatar is actually the WORLDS richest country so he people here definitely show it. Zach actually told me that many of the people here are so wealthy that they don't even work-- so I think many of them spend that free time jazzing up their cars! I am not much of a car guru but I have snapped a few shots of what I have seen around for those of you who are. 

Saw this one apartment hunting-- how we can afford to live where this guy does I have no idea lol 

Pretty cool with all orange interior.  Yes I was a creeper and looked lol 
This was a pretty cool matte black Lexus. Saw it walking to dinner one night. 
Aston Martin 
Another Ferrari 
And another 
This one was parked in Zach's garage at work 
And this last one I don't even know what it was. Looked like a Mercedes G-Wagon on steroids? It had 6 wheels!! Saw it on out way to the grocery store.. 

One last note about driving here, many people have drivers that just hang out in the car then take them whenever they need to go somewhere. Zach actually has one for this entire month that his company provided while we get settled in. He picks Z up from our hotel takes him wherever during then day then brings him back home -- pretty cool! He even brough us to look at apartments one afternoon when we had an appointment. Shout out to Nassar! 

I will leave you with a couple of signs that I found pretty funny and definitely different! 
Also this TED talk that I saw the other day that completely describes out taxi experience from the other day.  :) 

As always, 
Shokran & Gig 'Em! 

No comments:

Post a Comment