I don’t have a car here, and don’t think I am going to get one. First of all, as I have previously indicated, there is a parking crisis. A couple of weeks ago a colleague offered to give me a ride home. When we got to the car, it had been blocked in by another car, just parked behind it. Like a "T". We honked, and asked around, and about 20 minutes later an Emirati woman came strolling out of a nearby apartment building. "Sorry," she said, half-heartedly. "There is no parking."
Secondly, people drive like maniacs and there is a ton of traffic and roundabouts and goodness knows what else. Almost every day I see or am almost in a horrific car accident. So, no, not so much with the driving.
Luckily, cabs are unbelieveably cheap. Just a dollar or two dollars to go across the city. And the drivers are (almost always) entertaining or at the least rarely crabby.
I have become used to the sensation of being watched from the rear-view mirror - no longer finding it creepy. Just pretending it isn't happening.
In one cab, the driver just said "helloooo" and "thank you." I kept saying "you are welcome."
"Thank you very much," he said, while we were at a stoplight, halfway to my destination. Silence. "Thank you," he said, again. "Thank you." Nervous laugh, from me. Blessedly, the light changed.
One cab driver combed his beard for half of the four-minute trip to work. Another asked my name, and when I asked his, he said "Clinton Bush" and then laughed maniacally. Then he said "people get in my cab and ask my name and I say 'Clinton Bush'," like I hadn't heard what he said. Which I had, obviously.
One cab driver told me he had two wives and seven children. He wanted more children, he said, but definitely no more wives. "Too many wives," he said.
Of course, much of the time when drivers care to talk to me, they ask if I am married. I alternate between lying and making up a husband. A husband who is arriving next week. From Canada. I draw the line at making up children, though.
Once, after a few questions, a driver asked if I had brought my husband with me from Canada. I said no, there was no husband. “Oh, you’re not married?” he said. “Lucky.” We laughed really loud. Then, in his thick, Middle Eastern accent, eyes watching me from the rear-view mirror, he said: “your face. Very nice.”
It was kind of sweet, actually.
Another cab driver, this one flirtatious, also asked where my husband was. I said ‘he’s coming next week, from Canada.’ ‘You have kids?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I replied. There was a bit of a silence, and I thought I might be off the hook.
Then he turned around and looks at me, smiled, and said, in a knowing tone: ‘You’re not married.’
Spooky, how he knew. I have to work on that husband story.