A cautionary Tale of Traffic in Kuwait

The illegal turn that never was…

Traffic today was more abysmal than usual. Ordinarily, it should not take more than 30 minutes to traverse the distance from the parking lot where my vehicle is to the 4th ring road, the closest exit from the hell hole that is Hawally. Kindly bear in mind that the distance does not exceed 2KM; 2KM in 30 minutes! I can walk faster than that!

No matter where you turn, there is no escaping the dreaded traffic jam that is a direct result of some genius’s idea of proper placement to relocate a school from Jabriya to the already congested hell hole Hawally. Work starts at 8AM, I wake up at 6AM to leave the house by 7AM. Usually I make it there by 7:30-7:45AM. Not today though.

It was not until I reached the road parallel to the fourth that stretches out from in front of Canary on Tunis St. all the way down to Qotaiba St. that I, in a moment of anger, decided to think about taking an illegal turn, to save time. Instead of traversing 270* of a roundabout (an extra 5-10 minutes), one would take a mere left turn and be straight on the final destination road. On any usual day of the week, 9 out of 10 cars would take such a turn, much to my chagrin at the time of being a law-abiding citizen.

What struck me as odd however was the relatively less frequent illegal turn taking, as well as a congregation of people to my left as I travelled towards the roundabout. Usually, a squad car would be parked on a side road, obscured from the view of the cars. From the vantage point I exited onto, I could see no such squad car. However, I kept thinking to myself, what if they changed their modus operandi?

I decided against the illegal turn and headed straight for the roundabout, already tearing at the seams as a result of a massive clogging of its road arteries.

No sooner had I taken that pledge between myself and I did I spot out of the corner of my eye the figure of a man in plain clothes and a pair of dark sunglasses. I saw them stand by a truck that had taken an illegal turn. At first I dismissed him as being a Good Samaritan; however as they turned around, I spotted the badge dangling from his neck.  He was an undercover officer!

I breathed an enormous sigh of relief and took the roundabout with a smile on my face. I even shot the man a thumbs up as I passed him.

Given the nature of what I do for a living, I have become very observant.

Always trust your gut. If something does not feel right, take caution. Your bank account will thank you later.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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