Rambling #8- Miles to go before…I find my way

around Dubai roads, that is.

Now, those who know me well can vouch for my not-so-impressive way with routes. I have an inane quality of losing my way, even while driving along the simplest of routes. My sense of direction would put even Christopher Columbus to shame, if he were alive today! I am terribly direction challenged. I can’t even read maps. I’m sure the latter part of Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps was written after me.

As for the former part, I can’t really endorse it as my husband DOES listen when I grumble bicker nag talk . Now how well he grasps all that he listens is something that deserves a separate post though :P. For now, let’s just stick to my navigation skill. Or the lack of it 😉

When we were in Doha I never used a map or GPS, even though there were umpteen occasions when I had lost my way. I even remember setting out with Namnam to a friend’s place, barely 20 minutes away, only to end up hitting a road that went straight to Saudi Arabia! And even worse, by some freak way, I had got on to the opposite side of the road! Needless to say I was given the dirtiest scowls by other drivers when trying to cut across to the right side of the road. Anyway, as I was saying, despite the many fiascos, I never used a map because  I had R and my friends to fall back on. I always called them when I couldn’t get my way around and they would be right there on the other end of the line, guiding me through.

However here, ever since the day I got my license converted, R insisted that I got the google map application downloaded to my phone so that I could learn my way around more easily. While the map has certainly made my life easier, I have yet not succeeded in getting my way around with it. So map or no map I’m still losing my way!

A couple of months ago, when my father in law came visiting, I took him and Namnam to a sports shop which is just 15 minutes away from our place. While it took us no time to get to the place as I zoomed like a pro using the GPS in my phone, it took us more than an hour to get back home! Why? Because thanks to my great ability to understand maps, I had this smart urge to try a new route which was supposed to get us back in shorter amount of time. But obviously I didn’t read the map properly and ended up driving to the other end of the city and giving my father in law and my daughter a mini tour of Dubai in the process!

And now, my father-in-law has been wanting to know when I will be giving a similar “Dubai Darshan” to my parents as well! 😛 😛

february ramblings


Whats your honking style?

**Blabber post**

Ok, now being someone who is born and brought up in a place like Delhi honks have been an integral part of my life. Even before I learnt how to drive on Delhi roads I learnt to appreciate( or not) a the horns of the raging Blue-line buses and the snooty auto-rickshaws and the impish Marutis. Why, I have been honked at by even the cycle-rickshaws. Boy what attitude! What music to the ears with so many horns all around you as soon as you stepped out of the house! How could they not be a part of your life?

And then when I started driving, oh boy what a field I had by honking at all and sundry! I used to honk at even those cows spread royally in the middle of the road as though they were in a garden! Even those dogs and cats loitering around waiting for their mates had to be urged- by way of my honks, of course- to find a cozier place to breed!

Anyway in the last 9 years or so that I have been in the Middle East, a no-honk zone, I have been so spoilt with the organized driving and peaceful silence that now when I go home the jarring sounds of the horns blaring into my ears cringe me.

Having said that, the reckless and rash driving that I have been observing in Doha roads lately makes me wonder if my love for honks may get rekindled after-all! Oh you have to hear the different kinds of honks that I blow these days to believe me!

Honk #1– When you are driving at a speed of 100km/h and all of a sudden a pedestrian sprints across you just about getting away from coming under your car, you screech out a ‘Nooooooo’ with your honk! Trust me you’ll come across a lot of such such irresponsible morons here!

Honk #2– When a measly-looking vehicle is attempting to sneak in between you and the car in front in an already stifling traffic jam, you honk to say,’ Dont even think about it!’ FYI the message can be better conveyed when the honk is administered in broad daylight coupled with your piercing stare shooting right through his glass-shield!

Honk #3– is used when the role reverses. I mean, when your car is the measly-looking vehicle attempting to join a stretch of cars(read the Land cruisers, Patrols and the ilk). This time you meekly honk and give the sanest smile on earth to say,’ Please let me go..please please, or else I will cry and tell my mom that you’re not letting me go…waaaaa, waaaa!’

Honk #4– When you are enjoying the drive on a reasonably empty road listening to your favorite song and just when you are turning right, out comes this car from nowhere and zooms past you from the wrong end, as though in a terrible urge to relieve himself! Thats when you blow the dynamite of a honk shooting the nastiest curses that you can think of,’ @##$%%$#$…you douche-bag..teri toh mai!’

Honk #5– This one is a harmless one. When you spot a friend or an acquaintance on your way, this honk simply conveys,’ Hi there! whats up?’

Honk #6– But if, instead of reaching your friend(mentioned in #5), it reaches the ears of the vehicle in front of you, it can be misconstrued as,’ Hey there, move faster, you tortoise’! Which can attract variety of expressions and sign-lingos from the tortoise BTW. He/she may give you a taste of your own medicine by way of the piercing stare from his/her rear-view mirror which can shoot through YOUR glass-shield this time or or he may raise his hand in a dancing-mudra like this

which loosely conveys,’ Whats your problem? 😡 😡 ‘

OR he/she may just shoot the dynamite honk #4 at you!

Honk #7– is administered when there is a monster-trailer on road and you want to get past it. Most of these trailers are usually well in their lanes and rarely bully you. But their very enormity is so intimidating that you cower. Thats when you plead with them by way of this honk which says, ‘ Hey truckaasur! Please dont crush me! Please please please! Have mercy!’

Honk #8– This is R’s favourite! This is a ‘just like that’ honk! Literally. He uses it for the love of using it! Just like that. A Delhi-ite to the core! He honks when he takes the car out of the garage. And then honks again while waiting for the gate of the compound to open. He honks when he sees a car speeding off … on the opposite side of the road! :roll:. And of course he makes use of all the honk-categories that I mentioned above, during the course of his drive. And honks even when on a long drive with not a vehicle in close-shave quarter…just to spite me 😡 ! He goes ‘honk’ and gives me a sheepish smile to say ‘just like that’ 😐 Aargh!

Did I just say my love for honks was rekindling? Or not? 😀

So what did you honk today?

Doha is round afterall!! (NaBloPoMo- Take- 16)

I know so is earth! But this discovery is more significant for me because I realized that come what may I will not get lost in this city. And for a person like me who is so bad with routes and navigation this is quite a prominent discovery 😀

Ask R or anyone in my family and they will enlighten you all of my navigation skills, rather make that ‘pathetic navigation skills’. I love to drive around, maneuver through narrow streets and busy traffic, can drive for hours, but ask me how to get from point A to point B I’ll gape right back at you with the stupidest look possible. I may have driven around the place about 10 times but I still get confused with my turns and roundabouts. So those really know me well, more often than not, stay away from asking routes of me because they know they will end up getting a fair share of not-so-adrenaline-rushing adventure if they let me navigate them through the city. Don’t you give me that perplexed look! Even I dont know how I have managed this far by driving my way through Doha roads 🙄 🙄 🙄

Since R is well verse with this inane quality of mine, mostly he draws a map for me whenever I have to drive to a new place. And he draws it with such an impeccable manner that I never miss a T or a signal or a roundabout. Oh and by the way, this impeccable manner is not just because he draws well, and amazingly well at that, but also because he knows that if he doesnt draw it to the T, what a grave mistake he will be making by exposing himself to the possibility of enduring my harassing calls if and when I lose my way 😈

And me being me I normally keep those maps grafted to me till I have got the routes crystal clear in my mind :D. And on occasions where R has not been around to draw me the routes and I have had to find my way I have even pestered my friends with constant calls for help :D.

And it was on one such occasion that I got to know the route to Namnam’s school. I sought a friend’s help to explain the route the first time I had to visit the school, because R was not in town. The sweet lady that she is, she gave me directions patiently every time I made frantic calls to her for clarifications. And I have stuck to that route ever since with no deviations whatsoever.

But today,(no)thanks to some wretched traffic diversion I had to take a deviation from my normal route on my way back from dropping Namnam at school. With R in a meeting, he couldnt take my call. And with office hours in full swing I didnt want to bother any of my friends too. Needless to say, I was fully convinced that I was going to lose my way today. Anyway I decided to drive back to the school and ask somebody if I could find an alternate way. And to my utter surprise I did find an alternate way and a much easier way at that and even better I didnt miss any roundabout or turn to get back home safely.

I know its not a big deal, but for someone like me who is so adept at goofing up with the simplest of routes in a small city like Doha, this was quite an achievement. You know the excitement you feel when you arrive at a tallied balance sheet in your Accountacy class or when you solve an algebra problem or when you get a chemical formula right or better still when you score a BINGO in a game of scrabble?? Yup, THAT’S how I felt today when I found my way home. A total ‘woohoo’ moment !! 😀

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With this I’m heading into the weekend! No idea if I can post tomorrow. Will try and do a photo-post to stay in the Nablopomo game :). So till I see you all next week, have a rocking week/end ahead 🙂