Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Public Service Message: Driving in Sudan

This last week Josh has kept me very busy with his bitches pointing out that there doesn't seem to be any set rules for driving in this country.  My response to him?  "Dooy ! I told you that you idiot! You NEVER listen to me!!  I'm sorry. It will get better."  (I'm such a good wife.)

Anyway, on the off chance that you might actually end up in Khartoum (because of something bad you did) and have to drive, I figured I should document some of the rules of the road here,:

  • Navigating the Mean Streets of Khartoum:  as I mentioned in my last post, do not assume that any road here has an official "name" that is recognized by all.  I find that it is particularly useful to just go ahead and name them whatever you feel like and then tell people that is its name....but do so with AUTHORITAY.... as if the person you are giving the directions to is the idiot.  Works every time.  "Turn Left on Burned out Donkey Carcass Road, and then Right onto "S" road.  Airport is on your right"  Soon, they'll just name that shit after what you said.  Trust me, it works. *unless your name is Josh, and  he questions your premise...  In this case, yell "LIAR!" and run away.
  •  Stick in the Road = Certain Death.  At some point in your day while driving along, minding your own business (probably singing at the top of your lungs to the new Miley Cyrus Song) you will likely see what appears to be a branch sticking out of the road.  Please be advised that this tiny branch has been placed there to signal that you are going to die if you continue in this path.  The Sudanese Department of Transportation has apparently done the research and has determined that a small twig (sometimes with small leaves on it, but not always - I have not determined whether the leaves indicate a level of pain that will be involved in your imminent death yet - serves as an obvious indicator that the earth has opened up in that location and a large crater is there that will swallow your entire vehicle.    Another indicator is when you see a car upended into said crater (usually with a branch hanging precariously on the hood) -- that also serves as an indicator that you shouldn't drive there. 
  • Yielding the Right of Way.  There is no right of way.  Just keep going and hope for the best.
  • Turning Left.  Frankly, it's best to try to avoid having to do this - I try to just keeping making right hand turns until you end up going the way you wanted to go in the first place.  HOWEVER, I understand that sometimes a left hand turn cannot be avoided.  If this happens, you need to just turn directly into the traffic.  If you wait, cars that are turning left from the street you intend to turn onto will all go in front of you and/or fill up the entire street you are trying to turn onto because they all want to turn first.  So, I usually just close my eyes and hope for the best.  
  • Pedestrians.  Pedestrians have the right of way and feel like they should be able to walk down the middle of road and/or cross when it is convenient for them.  Pedestrians are apparently not required to look before they step out into traffic and it is up to you, the driver, to avoid them.  It's like playing Mariocart....but with people.....and maybe a monkey or two....
     
  • Trash in the Road.  Do NOT, under any circumstances, assume that the trash you see in the road is just a piece of paper or a plastic bag.  Trash can also be used to mark large jagged pieces of metal the Sudanese sometimes like to keep in the road and/or indicate a disabled car, camel or donkey up ahead.  ALSO, it might be someone's stuff they're keeping for later.  They get really pissed if you run over their shit.
Well, I hope this lesson has been helpful to you.  Bottom line is that you probably shouldn't try to drive in Khartoum and are better off hiring a driver.  I would recommend that you hire a really old, sluggish - maybe even fat driver.  The driver should have a lot of experience driving in Khartoum. That way he can serve as a decoy you can out-run when you get into an accident. 

Also, I like to carry US Dollars and throw them out behind me while I run away.  I like to think that it will potentially slow down the crowd.  This is important.  Remember what continent the winners are from in the Boston Marathon!

It's almost never a diplomat from Montana.

14 comments:

Frau said...

And I thought German drivers were bad! I think I will stick to the bus and tram systems.

Beth said...

Finally a country that makes the US look good!

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

Thanks! If I am ever in Sudan I will surely remember this! lol

Elle said...

My husband is like that too. He never believes what I tell him and then acts shocked when when he discovers something (the same something I already told him about).

I think I'm gonna take Sudan off of my bucket list.

rxBambi said...

Great. Now all I can think of is "the dj played my favorite song and a britney song is on a britney song is on and a britney song is on and I've got my hands up they're playing my song...."

Smart Mouth Broad said...

LMAO as you drive around in circles by always turning right. At least you will always make it back home.

blognut said...

Now I'm all 'out there' because I'm starting to wonder if I took driver's ed in Khartoum. I don't remember being there, but I can't rule it out because the evidence suggests that is where I learned to drive.

:)

otin said...

I really do not here any difference between there and North Carolina! LOL!

staceyjwarner said...

LOL! When my dad was in Saudi Arabia after Desert Storm he would drive the company owned jeeps really fast through the desert, hit pot holes and crack the windshields...LOL! He was bored, there was nothing to do.

much love

♥ Braja said...

Wait....do I know you??

Gaston Studio said...

Sorry, I couldn't read your post because I'm still stuck on "Josh has kept me very busy with his bitches".... Josh had ho's with him? And all you were concerned about was driving lessons?

Captain Dumbass said...

So, an armoured personnel carrier with a few tanks for an escort?

the MomMa said...

If you keep this up, I will have to ask you to post an "UI" (Unexpected incontinence) score so that readers who pee their pants during times of uncontrolled laughter can read at an appropriate time and place. Like a movie rating E.g. 1=safe2read 2=how long have you been waiting? 3= Like to live on the wild side? ? 4= think again sister! 5 = TOLD YOU!

Jason, as himself said...

OMG, this post cracked me soooo up! I love these rules. I lived in Peru for a while and their rules are similar.

I especially love "Burned Out Donkey Carcass Road" and how trash marks large jagged pieces of metal they like to keep in the road.

Here's to hoping for the best!