Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sharjah’s finest

Heading home the other evening, I took my usual route that included a loop around a cloverleaf interchange. Who, in Dubai, can honestly say they’ve never done that? Anyway, this was Sharjah. I got into the right-hand lane, and just as I got to the diverge taper, a Sharjah-registered car pushed in from the left and forced me on to the breakdown lane. So what? It happens all the time. But what makes this incident even more annoying than usual is that the car doing the pushing was a new blue and white, blue-light bedecked Sharjah Police vehicle containing a brace of Sharjah's finest.

So what was the enormous hurry? An emergency call, perhaps? There were no sirens and no flashing blue lights. Nevertheless, I gestured to Mr Plod that he should go in front of me and continue on his urgent way.

Not so urgent, apparently. He signalled for me to stop (on the breakdown lane, where I’d been forced so as to avoid an impact), and then pulled level. Winding down the window, both Plods let fly with a torrent of Arabic abuse and plenty of hand gestures that, had I made them, would have been misinterpreted as a single digit. Recognising “Shway, shway,” I realised that I was simply being inconvenienced by a pair of power-crazed, socially inadequate peons who had been given uniforms and were flexing what minuscule authority they had.

The Law, having by now delayed dozens of commuters by blocking the loop road, then zapped off up and over the bridge, with the Goat following at a discreet distance. I learned how we should all drive by observing the example being set. With hazard flashers winking - and it wasn’t even foggy - the police car weaved in and out of the traffic over all four lanes, before stopping at the back of a stationary queue in the middle lane.

By some miracle the right-hand lane was empty, and because I wished to turn right at the traffic lights I drove past and made my right turn. Just before I made the turn, I noticed the blue lights come on and Mr Plod pull over some other hapless motorist.

If someone - anyone - wishes to be respected, it is surely imperative that he, or she, behave in a manner that engenders respect. If you see a police car being drive idiotically and arrogantly, it’s a bit rich getting pulled over and being given a talking to about driver behaviour. But “do as I say, not as I do” is endemic. A few minutes at the main gate of Sharjah police headquarters will quickly reveal that laws pertaining to mobile phone use, seatbelts and window tinting are also widely flouted.



alexander said...

Many experiences of a similar nature.

Worse, police stations, now they've banned smoking, smell strongly of farts and BO.

Keefieboy said...

Alexander has farts on the brain.

Rose in Dubai said...

Does that make him an airhead?

alexander said...

Boil yer heids...

Jayne said...

I keep telling myself, one day, just one day, I will do to them what they do to me (especially while on the bike). I can put up with a heap of crap from various sources, but the arrogance of bad drivers here is the one thing that really gets my goat........sorry GG, you know what I mean!

Mars said...

I wonder if theres anyway to report a cop...probably not.


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