Thursday, 8 January 2009

It's a gas

What's up with the gas stations of the UAE? It seems like every petrol station I pass has queues of cars everywhere you look. The parking bays in front of the fast food joints and cafes are all full. The car wash has them lining up out into the street. And they are hooting for service to fill up their tanks. If only they would extinguish their cigarettes and switch off their engines! I am well aware that petrol is cheap over here, but do they really need to be filling up all the time - day and night? Then again, it may well be that there is a deeper issue at the heart of this. Perhaps this is revealing the secret love affair that the people over here have with their cars? They are certainly pushed to the limits on the highways when they fly by at the speed of light. Then again, we already know that the Land Cruiser is the new camel of the desert. Until the mystery is solved, life will continue to be a gas and full of pump action.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The chill factor

Winter started with a vengeance about 2 weeks ago. Mornings were characterised by extremely heavy fog -- it was simply "white cotton wool out there" when I tried to see out of my apartment window. It made for some rather tricky driving as some people still seem to think that any or all of the following apply:
  • do not slow down or attempt to drive at a reasonable speed
  • do not switch on your headlights - use the emergency "crash flash" lights
It has been uncomfortably dark in the mornings and I find myself quite disorientated. I keep thinking that the alarm clock must have gone off early! The night times are not much better and it has been very chilly indeed. Now is definitely NOT the time you want to be out under the clear, but very cold desert skies.

Schools, colleges and universities will be closing soon for the winter holidays. Many people will be taking advantage of the 2 week break to head on home. It is what I will be doing.