Driving Miss Desi

Written by Desiree Fiess.

“Are you driving?” I couldn’t help but to burst out in laughter. Oh, my… the wrong side of the car.

Yip, here in Dubai we have left hand drive cars and we drive on the right-hand side. Trust me, when you are South African, muscle memory kicks in and you tend to find yourself climbing into the “wrong” side of the car with all the other SAFFAS laughing their heads off – maybe a bit embarrassed to admit they tend to make the same mistake – ALL THE TIME.

Another little question in my head that got answered very quickly.  “Why the very big cars? Can’t we all just drive tiny little Mini Coopers or Kia Picanto’s?”  Dude, driving here is like real life motor racing. In South Africa, the use of indicators does not just form part of traffic regulations but is also deemed as a sign of respect to your fellow motorist. Well, in my part of the word, it is deemed as a weakness and you are a real loser if you politely give way to another motorist.

Yes, being a polite, conscientious motorist is equivalent to having a huge “L” sticker on the back of your rear window. This time not as a sign that you are a learner driver but LOOSER Driver. Darling, here in the UAE, it’s all about the survival of the fittest or biggest, meanest car on the road. Goodbye my dearest Mini Cooper… I will politely apply all the tricks of the Taxi Association in South Africa. And trust me, this SAFFA chick ain’t a looser!

With love and a tad bit of road rage.


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