On this hump day, I’m posting about some speed bumps that have appeared on our access road – and I don’t mean small ones; I mean steep, mini hillocks that almost stop your car in its tracks.
Those who know where I live will be well aware of the unique challenges we face out here in our little patch of desert. Challenges like getting home, and leaving the house.
There was the enormous roundabout that vanished overnight, probably while luckless drivers were on it – leaving us with a traffic vortex that funnels you towards Abu Dhabi, rather than home.
We’ve endured the bumpy, pot-holed track that led to our compound – which 4WD’s could just about handle without the exhaust pipe falling off, but meant cars had to pick their way along, dodging craters, at a snail’s pace.
We’ve made sharp, right-angled turns off a busy 6-lane highway, with cement trucks bearing down on our rear-end; and we’ve ploughed through a debris-ridden desert shortcut across sand (when the police weren’t looking). And let’s not forget the number of U-turns it’s possible to make on a daily basis to get home – enough to make you feel like a Weeble with an inner-ear infection.
But, then, after six months of dusty construction work and vibrations that I once mistook for a minor earthquake, we were presented with a shiny new, tarmaced access road. A road you could sail along, and a proper entrance and exit off the megahighway.
An exit that confused divers started driving up the wrong way – but, I guess, you can’t have it all.
Anyway, to cut a long story short – the other week, six speed bumps appeared on our new road, far bigger than the ridges inside the compound (where children play). The equivalent, I’d say, to traversing over a hippo’s back. Added to all the other speed bumps in our neighbourhood, they mean an average school-run day involves clunking up and down more than 50 humps.
And would it surprise you to hear that these new sleeping policemen weren’t painted straight away. On that first dark night, a pizza delivery man on a moped was sent flying after failing to see the bumps, and ended up being carted off in an ambulance – poor guy (he was ok, nothing broken, thankfully).
I’m not saying the humps weren’t needed (quite the contrary, many drivers in these parts totally disregard speed limits, making traffic calming measures important); just that we’ve come full circle and appear to be back to a bumpy road. Progress indeed.