Friday, September 29, 2006

What is it about circles?

Okay, so this is my second post about circles and soon I'll probably post a third. So, what is it about circles that I find them so interesting? Perhaps it's because where I come from we don't have them... I can't help but notice how amazingly bad people are here about going around the circles. Now, I have to go through nearly all of them twice a day, so I've gotten to be not bad at all at it. But, boy, people really don't understand the theory behind them. There seem to be a few different types of circlers, as it were. Let me outline them form you based upon my recent observations.

1. Circle bullies: These are the people who push their way into the circle, shove others into the center or the outside, then push their way out. They seem to believe they are the only ones with a legitimate right to be in the circle. I wouldn't want to make any bold statements, but it seems like most of the these people drive a) luxury cars or b) big SUVs.

2. Circle cruisers: This category includes nearly every taxi driver in Amman. These guys edge their way around the entire circle in the "outside lane". That is, they really don;t even enter the circle at all. They cruise their way around the edge of it.

3. Circle dashers: These would be the people who dash immediately into the center of the circle. They don't ease their way in, they go at a right angle directly into the center. Then, they stay in the center of the circle until they are almost past the street they want and proceed at another right angle out of the circle. Basically, they cause everyone around them to come to a complete stop as they haven't proceeded from the outside line gradually in and then gradually back out again. They've dashed both ways and caused everyone to stop for them.

4. Circle novices: These poor souls are the ones who spend their entire time making jerky movements to avoid others. Their head bounces around like they are at a tennis match. While trying to see where everyone else is going for fear of being hit, they often miss their street and have circle around again.

5. Circle junkies: These are the guys who look like they've come on the circle for fun. They came from one side of the circle that has a u-turn lane, came into the circle and went all the way around. Effectively, they make a u-turn IN the circle, rather than using the lane provided before the circle.

6. Circle clueless: This population seems to mostly have foreign tags. They wander aimlessly around the circle behaving like an amalgamated version of the above. They are by turns bullies, novices, and cruisers. They seem to be unsure where they are going, how to get there, and how to even do the whole circle thing.

7. Circle savvy: These are the people with whom you want to be in the circle. They understand that the circle is a progressive dance. If everyone knows the steps, all will get through with no toe stepping and falling. The people who frequent the second circle just before 2 pm most afternoons fall into this category. It's amazing to watch. It's as if everyone knows the steps and is doing a complicated minuet in time. We're all listening to the same music and moving accordingly. My hats off to all of these people, would that there were more of them.

As I've told El 3atal, I find it particularly amusing that 80% of the people here have more trouble in circles than I do. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I get by with a minimum of hassle. And, I enjoy driving around circles when the others in them with me get the concept. So, more later on gratuitous circles coming soon to a blog near you...

Happy circling!


At 11:39 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

So funny about those roundabouts (what they're called in England) or "round points" in French.

The idea is that if you're getting off more than halfway, you go into the center right away. If you're getting off the first or second exit, stay towards the edge.

I used to think that you worked your way into the center and then indicated out. My driving school set me straight on that.

I was actually in an accident on a roundabout but it was cleared up fast, not my fault and I got a lot of help. It was a little scary as getting off to the side was tricky and the cars coming couldn't see us.

Hope that helps!
Good luck

At 5:36 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...


Thanks. Your description is quite right. But here the circle are a bout 3 lanes wide. 2 should be used and the third is extra space (sort of a shoulder, if you will). The taxi drivers take the ENTIRE circle in this shoulder area... Teehee. Too funny.

At 1:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article, circles here are a mass ;)

At 2:45 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

A mess indeed. A sad, sorry mess...

At 5:06 AM , Blogger joladies said...

the circles here are usually blamed on the British!! We tried to get away from them when traffic lights appeared at all the circles and then they crept back in again! T


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