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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

DEATH TO GARDENS STREET!

Amidst the intolerable stretch of hell that is labeled as "Garden's Street", the very inconspicuous speed-bumps, and the driving skills of highway Gulfians, summer's traffic in Amman is practically intolerable.

This evening, I had to go drop my youngest brother to his friend's house, and unfortunately, this friend lives in Khalda. The shortest way to get to Khalda from Shmesani is to ride across the one of the few things in Amman that I passionately hate- Gardens Street. The street that I am LITERALLY willing to go around the WHOLE of Amman just to avoid. The street that I hope will follow a similar fate as the restaurant that it was named after.

Oh, Gardens Street, Gardens Street, where shalt I start?

Shall I start the fact that it is a thin and impossibly long stretch of infinite traffic? Or the fact that the numerous speed bumps and never-ending traffic lights are placed at such horrible intervals that the whole driving experience on that street falls along the lines of "Accelerate. Slow down. Accelerate. STOP. Accelerate. Slow down. STOP. STOP. Accelerate. Slow down. Accelerate. Slow down. Accelerate. STOP. Accelerate. Slow down. STOP. STOP. Accelerate. Slow down."

Or perhaps I should move on to the fact that it is home to some of the worst visual pollutants in Amman? The signage lining both its sides is horrendously unaesthetic(25 hours? 25 HOURS?!) Yet again, I should probably start with how random pedestrians jump into the street while apparently trying to cross, or with the insane amount of cabs randomly stopping to drop off or pick up a passenger.

And ah, how can I not give particular importance that this street seems to be a "bad driver magnet"? Today for example, I had to deal with some really old man who apparently believes that you are supposed to drive with lane dividers between the wheels of the car rather than center the car between the dividers. All my honking proved futile, although I did spend the rest of my Gardens Street drive with an 80 year old grouchy man riding my bumper, screaming at me from his window, and cutting me off at every possibility.

I also will have to mention the Gulfians, who have a really hard time adjusting to Amman's mountainous narrow streets very different from the flat highways of the Gulf. YOU CANNOT SPEED INSIDE AMMAN WITH YOUR 5000 CC ENGINES. YOU NEED TO USE YOUR MIRRORS BEFORE YOU CHANGE LANES, OUR STREETS ARE SMALL. AND THESE ARE MOUNTAINS FOR GODSSAKE, MOUNTAINS!

Today was just not a good driving day.

And while I'm at it, will someone PLEASE do something about that damn speed bump on the inner Safeway street? It is huge, it is inconspicuous, it is not very car friendly, and worst of all, I can never remember that it's there! It is going to be the end of my car, the end of my car I'm telling you!

(This post came from a positive, positive person)

More: Scenario 1 Illustrated

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