Sunday, 30 January 2011

New ROP Road Safety Tactics

Nice to see that the ROP have begun plain-clothes operations on the roads here in Muscat.
I'd been wondering for years why there were no undercover road traffic officers driving "normal" really does make a difference.

Nothing more annoying than watching all the "goody-two-shoes" demonstrations from folks when a blue and white is driving along the motorway, only to watch the same cretins tailgating a few moments later when the "danger" has passed.

Driving on the new expressway has become particularly hazardous as there are still no permanent speed cameras in place, so folks are doing insane types of driving. 
One had an altercation with a local driver a while ago who cut across me and two others doing about 160kph and proceeded to slam on and flash the guy in front of me to get out of the way.

When I was lucky enough to come side by side with him at the traffic lights, his bravado outweighed his intelligence and he offered me a discussion at the side of the road which I was more than happy to partake in. 
Having already called the ROP before this, he was astonished to find them pull up alongside us as he got out of the car.
Suddenly it was all my fault...I was the bad-guy, doing the dangerous driving and flashing my lights at him.

Ahhhh, but hold on.....Mrs. Jet Driver had wanted to show her family the lovely new motorway with the mountain view - so had video'd the whole incident with her new camera. You've got to love technology.
There he was, in all his High Definition glory!
As you can imagine, he didn't have an answer for that......but the cops did!

Saddest part, and the thing that made me call the police in the first place?
He had his young wife and toddlers in the car with him.

Well done ROP on another leap up the policing progress ladder.
I think it's great!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

At The Car-Wash

After a while sitting parked while I'm away, my wheels can look a bit shabby around the edges, so this evening, after a long few days beating up the skies of Asia, I drove to one of those car-wash places where you can get the inside and outside done for a couple of rials.

Kindly bear that thought in mind for the next time you go there: "It only costs a couple of rials.".

I'm waiting in line for the pressure washer guy. There's a Range Rover Sport in front of me - pearl white with all the trimmings and a wasta registration plate. 
Unusually, the guy at the end of the hose was a local chap in what looked like his late teens, ordering around what is left of the post-Omanisation Indians.

The Range Rover goes up on the hydraulic jacks and the guy starts spraying chinks of mud, tar and other crap off of the bottom. 
It was hard to see in the dark, but he seemed to lack the gusto of his "sub-ordinates" who were busily cleaning the other vehicles in the line.

He turns off the washer, and awaits inspection from the driver.
Typical Range Rover type, with the pressed dishdasha, the big ring and the attitude to match.
Lots of finger-clicking and general nit-picking about little marks on the car, with this-and-that not being perfect enough.

"You clean engine." is what came next, so up came the hood and the kid starts washing and waving the hose around for a while, still with no real commitment - just going through the motions. (Work went on around him at the other cars.)

Second inspection.
More pointing at the engine and then his attention goes to beneath the car again.
Clearly not clean enough for this man.
We can't be seen parked on the pedestrian ramp outside Starbucks at Shatti with a dirty underside now can we?

A few rude upward waves of his hand and he walks away. "You clean again better."

Back to that thought again: "It only costs a few rials."
Seriously. This is just a quick wash station, operated by a guy who just couldn't give a toss about you. It's a local....being told what to do by a local....and that appears to not go down well for some.

If you want a full showroom valet you will need to take your precious compensation device to Ziebart.

So the guy with the hose then does something that all happened for me in slow motion.
He raises the Range Rover up on the hydraulic platform again….
….but the hood is still up!

And the hood is higher than the roof of the jeep, and starts to fold to accommodate the ceiling. 

Awesome sound, then the head turning left and right to see where the odd din is coming from, then the change in facial expression when it finally dawns on this guy that it might have been better to just leave this to the Indians!

Management dishdashas had arrived by the time I stopped crying with laughter. 
They had a copy of their Terms & Conditions with them! "You can't blame us!"
I guess it was going to be a long night.