Many things annoy me about the standards of driving here. I must add that I lived in Dubai for 5 years and thought that I had seen every crazy driving move known to man and felt grateful every night when I got home from work, car and myself unscathed. I learnt to drive in London so city driving, honking my horn and using language that a builder would blush at is common place to me. That was just the driving test!
I’m not sure what annoys me more. The lack of using an indicator or the hand signals. Yes, that’s right. Hand signals. The same ones you would use whilst performing your cycle proficiency test. In a car. The slow down ones, the “I’m turning right”. All of them. I repeat. Whilst you are in a car. To add extra annoyance to me whilst I am stuck behind a car that has an arm flapping driver is that they do not use their indicators either! By then, I am screaming and biting the steering wheel. What on earth do driving instructors teach new students about the sticks attached to the steering wheel! You have brake and indicator lights at the rear of your car, and that’s what I am looking at people! Not your flailing arm doing an audition for Swan Lake. If you can’t be reliant on a car’s indicators and lights, then what kind of car are you driving and why on earth is it on the road!
There are a variety of hand signals that you will encounter, and not the one’s involving a middle finger. You have the arm flapping from the driver’s side, up and down. This is meant to signal slowing down.
Then there is the arm out, with the hand circling. This is meant to indicate that you should pass by. All well and good, but it has a complete disregard for any oncoming traffic and you WILL be directed into the path of a bus on the other side of the road, hurtling along towards you at 120 kph. In a 60 kph zone.
There is the arm pointed up in the air towards the sky. This may be a general greeting to another oncoming car. We have still to work this one out. Finally, there is the disco like hand manoeuvre that has an extended arm out of the car, bent at the elbow, with the hand pointing to the roof. Whilst this can be judged to be a sign that the driver wishes to pull over, without touching the indictor, it has been suggested by a friend of ours that this actually means “I’m pulling into the nearest Chefette (the island version of McDonalds)”.
Finally, there is the complete lack of use of indicators. If you ever see one used, the driver will normally be an expat or a tourist. Why use indicators at a roundabout as that takes all the guess work of what the car coming towards you is going to do. Roundabouts are the lucky dip of the motorway here. Yet, people act surprised at the many car accidents that occur. Normally at a roundabout.