One of the first things you’ll notice if you visit Dubai is the high proportion of nice cars on the road. The second thing you’ll spot is that drivers do really silly things in their nice cars.
I know this happens all round the world, but for reasons I won’t go into, drivers in the UAE are more guilty than most of road stupidity. You only have to take a short drive in the early-morning, blanket fog we’re having at the moment to find out that some drivers don’t even put their headlights on.
And don’t get me started about the mums who march into their child’s classroom voicing all manner of finickity complaints about the way their beloved offspring are being taught, then drive all the way home without buckling their children up.
It does sometimes seem that the more luxurious the car, the lower the driver’s road IQ is. Take these examples: while waiting to make a U-turn, DH and I saw a woman in a BMW just ahead of us make the turn, then FORGET to straighten up. She continued in a circle and stranded her car on the central median, like a yacht run aground.
Then the other day, we watched a woman climb back into her Porsche SUV at the petrol station and drive off, with the hose still attached (clearly late for Pilates).
But today I saw a manoeuvre that beat both of these. Picture the scene: at BB’s school as you walk out, there’s a pedestrian crossing leading to the sand parking lot, manned by a guard.
I’m afraid to say it was a woman again, in a brand-new BMW with children in the back leaving the car park. In all her molecules of wisdom, she mistook the pedestrian crossing (with people on it) for – astoundingly – the car park exit and mounted the crossing in her car, no more than three yards from the school gate. The aghast-looking guard started waving his hands wildly and a mum started shouting.
“Are you crazy?” she yelled.
The driver wound down her tinted window. “Don’t swear at me,” she sniped back.
“But what you’re doing is insane,” the mum spat.
I wanted to stay to see whether she actually managed to exit the car park via the pedestrian crossing, but DH whisked us away so I’ll never know (she probably did!)
Road IQ: -46. And I bet she won’t learn, either!