Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Is there anyone, other than drivers of dignitaries, who doesn't realize that 1:30-2:30 is a terrible time to move people around town safely?

For two days running, I have had the... let me think of the word... pleasure? joy? annoyance... yeah that's the one annoyance of being on Zahran Street at the same time as some dignitary of note. I don't know who it is, some fairly ordinary-looking guy in a car with government plates with the lowest possible number. He's accompanied by two American sedans with tinted windows. I'm betting on the Primate Minister, but... what would I know? Now mind you, we're talking at the peak traffic time for school pick up and bus routes. Anyone who's driven the streets of Amman knows that any day between 1:30 and 2:30 (or 3 maybe) traffic is a disaster all around town. This is particularly true of Zahran Street.

Now, these fine fellows don't try and push traffic behind them like the uber-annoying black Suburbans, instead they come up from behind and try to edge you out of your lane. Mind you, this on a street with a high-curbed median and constant traffic. There is no shoulder, there is nowhere to slow or stop. There are only cars, cars, and more cars. So, what I want to understand is, who is the member of intelligentsia that, upon seeing the mess that is school pick-up traffic on one day decided let's jump out in it and risk life and limb of ordinary Jordanians again tomorrow? If your guy is that important, reschedule so you get in and out before this traffic. Otherwise, admit it, the cars with him running folks off the road are probably overkill. To be totally honest, if the fellow hadn't had the run-off-the-road cars and was simply being driven in a big Merc, I wouldn't even have noticed. Those are a dime a dozen. I have a feeling there is something to be said for public figures who find a way to blend in, rather than stand out and inconvenience the populace. But, that's just me... Maybe others find the experience exhilarating.

If I could offer a word of advice, for those who really, truly are worried about attempts on their life, don't go out in Amman from 1:30-2:30. Stay home or at the office or wherever. Because, as a resident of these crazy, wild, exciting streets I can assure you, there is no controlling them. They are like an act of nature (think hurricane, tornado, tsunami). And, anyone who plans to control the streets for a dignitary might as well just close them down, because otherwise I'm afraid it's a lost cause, teehee. As for me, I just hope that Mr. Important is done gumming up traffic on my route so that today's afternoon commute goes more smoothly.

And, as a good example of what TO do, on my way home this morning after dropping off the Beans, I saw a Suburban brigade taking someone mportant somewhere. They had waited until almost 9 when the streets are as empty as they get during the day. There was no need to run folks off the road as there just weren't that many folks. Maybe a little less aggresion and more planning is the ticket?

Happy finger-crossing!


At 4:50 AM , Anonymous kinzi said...

Well said.

I like HM's helicopter idea myself.

At 5:44 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I totally agree. I have had enough of the pushy dignitaries. If I were alone, I almost have half a mind to never move again and we'll just see what they will do to me. But my kids depend on me and all that. I am not sure how these people determine that their schedule is more important than anyone else's? I really don't care who is behind the glass. All the traffic is just trying to get somewhere. Let's all work together and we'll make it eventually.

At 7:53 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Kinzi, me too. I thank him greatly for having the foresight and intelligence to go by chopper rather than killing traffic everytime.

Nicole, Exactly. And, it would be one thing if it WERE the the king or queen or crown prince. But most of the time, it seems it's just... well... not.


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