It’s a busy country. People drive crazy. I wouldn’t want to drive here. Ever.
Except for one thing: Gas prices are INSANELY cheap.
I watched a 15 passenger van get filled (27 litres) for about $7.00 Canadian. Yeah. Most of the teachers that have vehicles have SUVs because they are safer, and it’s so cheap to keep them filled with gas.
But as far as the roads go, there are almost no street signs. At least not at intersections. They’ll randomly be in the median in the middle of a street. And they are usually in both arabic and English. Which is great, except nothing has an address here. I’ve been trying to figure out where I live since Monday. I still don’t know. And no one else seems to know either. It’s usually block # and the name of the building. So yeah. I don’t know where I live. But I can tell a taxi driver where the school is, and what street it’s on. And from there, I can walk. So it’s ok.
Speaking of which….
On Wednesday, I decided I’d had enough of living without internet capabilities of some sort. So I got the name of a local phone company that a lot of the teachers used, and googled the nearest location. According to google, it was only about 1 KM away, and just a couple streets over. Even I, the most directionally challenged person I know, could handle that. So I took a picture of the directions and set off walking. Keep in mind it averages about 105 degrees Farenheit here right now during the day. So hot. And everything’s in Arabic. And I struggle with directions.
And in this case, google was wrong. I had to stop for directions 2 times before I finally found where I was headed. I got what I needed for my phone, but by this time, I had been walking for almost 2 hours. I started to head back, but I quickly got turned around. And totally lost. So lost I couldn’t figure out how to get unlost. Oh wait. I wouldn’t of been able to do that in Moncton either.
I stopped somewhere random and asked for directions. They googled it for me and wrote the address of the school down in Arabic. And told me that I was so far away that I should just take a taxi. They told me how to get back, and I tried to keep walking, but I kept getting loster and loster (I made that word up. Deal with it).
Finally, I got a taxi. Until 2 days ago, I haven’t ridden in a taxi since I was 3 years old. Now I wonder why I never did. But at home, i drive. Here I never would.
They have lanes on the road. But if you have 4 lanes drawn on the road, you’ll probably have 6 lanes of cars. If you can see the lanes clearly. Sometimes they are so converged it’s hard to tell where one starts and the other stops. But for some reason, they are obsessed with their signal lights. Which is weird to me. I keep thinking “You aren’t in a lane. Why are you telling me you’re leaving the lane you aren’t in to not completely enter a different lane?” But whatever. It’s a traffic safety thing. They follow it. Everyone honks at them anyway.
And then today, I needed to get a router (note to self: explain the biscuit). So the place everyone told me to get it is at this place called the AVENUES.
*THIS PLACE IS AMAZING AND I WILL FURTHER TELL YOU ABOUT IT IN MY NEXT POST!!!!
So, I looked on google maps, and according to Google, it was about a 20 minute drive. I didn’t even bother considering walking that. I just got a taxi. The taxis are everywhere. You can’t look down the road without seeing about 5. and if they see anyone on the sidewalk, they will beep their horn just so you know they’re there and want to drive you.
Taxis are so cheap here. A 25-minute ride cost me about $6.
Actually, on second thought. I don’t know if that’s cheap. I’ve never paid for a taxi at home. Dear Monctonians–how does that compare???
Anyway. So I went to the mall. And coming back, I had a load of groceries. So I got another taxi, and I sat in the back because I had all this stuff with me. He’s talking away, and i realized he was on the phone. It was Arabic. All of a sudden he holds his phone up to me and says “My friend, this si my wife. She wants to say hi to you. She is happy to see you.”
I’m just thinking “This guy is responsible to get me home safely and he’s facetiming his wife. I’m so going to die.” But I smiled and said hi to his wife, praying the whole time I’d get home safely.
But I guess they don’t have distracted driving laws here. And I got home safely. So no worries.
And I haven’t seen a stop sign yet. Just a ton of “Give Way” (Yield) signs on the many, many, many roundabouts that they have here.