Woman on the road


Who would have thought that playing Nintendo Mario Kart as a kid would come in handy on the streets of Riyadh. Knowing how to drive with a 360° view at all times, to swerve, brake, speed up then slow down to get from point A to B among the other racers.

Now saying this I do enjoy driving, I just use a more colorful vocabulary and gestures than I have before. As I realized to drive you need to be a mathematician, to take that 360° view so as to measure how much sq2/distance is required between you and the car in front of you to allow ample space for safety but not enough that another car jumps in, essentially forcing you to slow down to add more safety space until you seem to be going backwards rather than forward. Now my extended safety distance is usually determined by the severity and quantity of the car parts missing. As I know some drivers forget that other people are sharing the road and don’t seem to realize that the structure of the road lanes do not change as they randomly do.

As such, using a turn signal for us poor womenfolk is not because we don’t know how to drive or don’t realize you want to turn, it is just human nature to notice a turn signal and understand that the driver wants to turn. When you swerve into my lane and I hit my horn it is not because I don’t know that you are trying to turn but because my colorful dictionary can only be expressed through the horn. Because when I don’t let you in until I see a turn signal, it is not because I don’t know you want to turn but because you didn’t have the courtesy to signal first.

And on a final note, gentlemen, when I stop to let you cross the road or stop at an intersection and let you pass, for the love of Pete don’t blow me a kiss! It’s just basic driving etiquette no matter if you are man, woman or monkey, it’s all the same to me.

Amel AlMakoshi
The author has a doctorate in public health and works in the VRO for health sector transformation.