Driving: Dubai vs. The United States

I’ve been eagerly waiting to write this post. EAGERLY. I’m considering this a Public Service Announcement to all American’s.IMG_5564

Driving in Dubai vs. Driving in America. It took me a long time to figure out why driving in America was giving me such terrible anxiety. I was SO nervous every time I had to go somewhere. I would plan out the shortest route to each destination before I would leave the house. Google map the closest drive thru coffee shop and calculate which roads would have less cars. Make sure not to go at a high traffic time. I would get my coffee back to the house and I was the happiest person on the planet. I made it. And this is in Maple Grove, Minnesota! A suburb! Imagine driving in a city?! I couldn’t!

When Wafiq got to the States I was relieved. Now he can start driving. But pretty quickly I noticed when he was driving he also seemed anxious or nervous. Then I thought, ok it’s not just me being crazy, something’s weird here. What’s scaring us?

This is my conclusion (and I think I nailed it):

In Dubai, people definitely have road rage. And they tailgate. And there’s people that are confused or lost trying to drive. All the issues you find on the road’s here, you’ll find there. BUT it’s different than America. In America, people tailgate in the neighborhood roads. People passionately hate you if you’re in their way. People are personally offended if you slow them down. And this.. Is scary.

Americans are in a hurry 24/7. They’re in a hurry to punch in to work every morning. They’re in a hurry after school to get home and have a quick nap before they have to hurry to work. They’re in a hurry to pick up their kids from school, or daycare, or soccer practice. They’re in a hurry to get coffee on their break from work before someone notices they’re gone. American’s are ALWAYS in a hurry! So when you slow them down… they passionately hate you, their whole day is ruined, they are maximum annoyed.

In Dubai, if there’s someone going a million miles per hour behind you on the highway and you don’t move out of their way they’ll probably flash their lights and go around you looking all cool and bothered. But it’s different. They don’t hate you. They’re not hurrying anywhere. They’re just bored. And enjoy driving fast. You didn’t ruin their day. In a twisted way, you probably made their day. They got to drive fast and figure out a way to pass you aggressively.

And in Dubai, that really only happens if you’re in the fast lane on the highway. In America, about every single car is in a freaking hurry. No matter the road. No matter the location. No matter the person. No matter the time.

This is why Americans are fat.

Just kidding. That’s a joke. {But.. Hurry = Stress = Weight Gain}

I was pulling up to a stoplight on a road that’s maybe 30 mph. Not a big or busy road by any means. And mid afternoon, not rush hour. Apparently, I pulled up to the (red) stop light too slow for someone who was waiting for me to pass.

I noticed this because he came flying by me as close as possible blaring the horn for a good 5 sec. As I looked over to see what was happening, he made sure to drive very close to my window and lean as far over as possible to make 100% sure I saw him give me the finger and scream “F*&@ You!” for another good 5 sec.

We made eye contact.

He hated me. Really really hated me. I could see it in his eyes. My face looked like a confused dog that tilts their head just a little when they see something they don’t understand. {If you have a dog, you know this look –> That was me.}

I looked at this super pissed off male specimen and re analyzed the situation. How could what just happened make this guy passionately rage at me? Go out of his way to make sure he ruined my day. Make me as angry as he was. Go through the same hell I just caused him. Have the same God forsaken day he’s now going to have because he was delayed 1 extra minute on his lunch break. How?

Because he’s in a hurry. I slowed him down. And that’s enough.

It’s a goal of mine to not fall back into this mentality. Americans, we have a BIG problem with this. Slow the F@&$ down! Look outside. Listen to music. Do whatever you have to do.

I understand when you HAVE to be somewhere on time. That was the case for me working as a real estate agent in Dubai. But one thing I learned is that sometimes you’re going to be late. Apologize. Try better next time. And maybe, next time you’ll be late again. Happened to me all the time with back to back appointments. Late, late, late. Sucks. But apologize, relax, and slow down. In life. Slow DOWN.

After living in the Dominican Republic and living in Dubai, where I had to interact with people from countries across the WORLD I have story after story of examples of this exact problem. American’s rush everywhere. All the time. In every aspect of their lives. And it’s more noticeable for me now than ever before.  It’s extremely unappealing + unfriendly.

Now, I would like to make things clear –> I’ve since become confident in my driving. I have a new way of looking at it: Katie – Changing The United States. One Road At A Time.

I’m slowing people down and when they passionately hate me, I think to myself “it’s for your own good. You’re welcome.” <3IMG_5937

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5 thoughts on “Driving: Dubai vs. The United States

    1. Just remember the fast drivers that flash their lights just enjoy driving fast, don’t think about it too much. I always stayed out of the way 🙂 Now, learning not to get lost is another story! Good luck!

    2. I think that will be my policy for sure, just avoid the crazies! Apparently missing the turning is the biggest problem, I suspect I will be a GPS addict! Thanks for the good luck wishes!

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