By Lulua Al Osaimi
After giving my father a copy of bazaar’s November issue featuring my ‘Guide to Driving in Kuwait’ article, I called him during my lunch break to see what he thought. “Hey Dad, so what did you think of my article?” to which he replied,
“You know I didn’t finish it because I was reading it while at the red light on my way to work.”
“Bwahaha come on Dad! That was the whole point of the article! ”
So with my father’s honest comment as inspiration, and me being the aware driver that I am, I think I missed a couple of guidelines…
- When making a left turn at the light, all lanes have the right to make the left hand turn, even if there is only space for two lanes.
- New speed limit cameras – are those things even on?
- Waiting to make a U-turn? Yeah sure, until the person on your right decides that they want to make it two lanes and turns in front of you while making the U-turn, almost causing you to T-bone their vehicle.
- Never come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Always keep it rolling.
- Find trash in your car? Pull up to a public rubbish bin conveniently located on almost every street, but make sure to not actually throw it inside the bin. Hey, someone will clean it up any way. *side eye*
- If the driver ahead of you is not driving as fast as you’d like, drive within inches of their bumper, while simultaneously flashing your high beams to blind them. Now, that is multitasking.
- When parking in a parking lot, those lines painted on the ground mean nothing…absolutely nothing.
- No parking spots available in the parking lot because four cars have already taken up the eight parking spots? No worries, just get in where you fit in! That includes behind an already parked car, or if you have a SUV, drive up and over anything. Just make sure to put on your emergency brake, because of course, it is an emergency!
- And after you get in where you fit in, open your car door as quickly and hard as possible. Doing this and making your car door come into direct contact with the parked car next to you will actually move their car, giving you more room to park.
- Come across random traffic and smoke in the air late night on the road? Don’t panic, it’s either a car accident or a wedding celebration. And if it’s a wedding celebration, get ready to sit patiently while friends of the groom put on a free show!
- Seatbelt for safety? Nah…too tight.
- If you want to get some errands done with minimal traffic, roads are mostly clear on weekend mornings until 1pm. You know we love our sleep.
- Need to exit the roundabout, but you’re in the inside lane? Don’t hesitate, just turn and go.
- One lane with 30 cars waiting, but that one car comes and bi-passes all 30 cars, and then requests to be allowed in once they’ve reached the front… allow them, they’re clearly in a hurry to go nowhere.
- Remember that life lesson you learned when you were 3 years old about taking turns? Yeah, let’s pretend that never happened.
- Having your windshield chipped or cracked by some random object that just came out of nowhere is normal, and bound to happen, repeatedly, so get used to it.
I think I have covered all of the guidelines to driving in Kuwait, but I also am pretty sure I will be reminded by something on my way home from work today. But make sure you remember, revolution begins with one…Blinker!
Food for Thought: As much as my friends and family know how much I enjoy a good laugh, as well as making others smile, I was compelled to write these pieces because of the reality and seriousness of the matter. As an artivist (Artist + Activist), I find that some issues are better received through the lens of satire and humor, but with my ultimate goal of always bringing awareness to the issue at hand. I do believe that a positive shift with anything in the world ultimately begins with oneself, and hope through my artwork and writing that I can inspire others to reflect on their own thoughts and actions. I think we all can agree that Kuwait is a beautiful place with many possibilities, but it is up to us all to help cultivate and foster these positive possibilities. Peace, light, and gratitude #staywoke.