Good morning dear brothers and sisters, and I wish all a blessed week to come. In this article, I would like to change the style of my writing a bit to make it more fun to read, and would like to narrate experiences I had encountered personally with some of what I call ‘Stations’.
The Taxi Station: One time I thought of taking a taxi for a short ride. I wanted to see for myself how those helpless taxi drivers are humiliated and put down by some irresponsible, conceited, arrogant young officers who have just graduated from the police academy and want to show off their mad skill on taxi drivers.
I picked up a taxi from Eqaila area heading to Mubarak Al- Kabeer, which is a few blocks away. As soon as I entered the car and it drove a mile away, a police car flashed the light and started the siren as if there was an invasion. The taxi driver and myself had our seat belts fastened and the driver was adherent to the traffic laws and regulation in terms of the signal light and driving on the specified lane with no single violation. The policeman yelled through the microphone saying: Taxi pull over “yalla yalla,” meaning ‘quickly’.
The taxi driver pulled over as requested and remained in the car as per the law. The policeman was not yet satisfied, and repeated shouting at the driver: “Come out of the car and approach the police car,” which he is not supposed to do as the law says. I told the taxi driver no problem, break the law for their sake this time. So when the poor man walked out of the car, the policeman ran quickly to the taxi and said: “Are you deaf? Can’t you hear me yell at you to come to me?” So, after that he was given a citation for obstructing traffic and lack of cooperation with policemen. What can we say?
The Bus Stop Station: Another experience also happened to me when I decided to take a bus ride again after 38 years from the last time I had been in a bus to see for myself the misery of bus passengers. I for a purpose parked my car somewhere behind the bus stop and decided to ride in the marvelously-decorated public bus. But before riding the bus, the biggest misery was in the behavior and attitude of some maniac bus drivers who in many cases drive by you like a bullet without stopping at the bus stop, unless there they see a beautiful woman standing there, that is. You would see a long lineup of buses waiting if there were women. I had to wait for at least 15 minutes until I found a less-crowded one.
As soon as I entered the bus and gave the driver a KD 5 note he frowned and yelled “Mafi khurdah” meaning no change. “It is not my fault you must make sure to have enough cash with you for these circumstances,” I replied. I told him “keep the KD 5 with you till we reach the destination and by then you should have enough cash.” Finally he accepted but really it was a misery. The other thing is the bad odor inside the bus and the filthy and torn seats.
The bus must be cleaned after every journey and sprayed with perfumes regularly to satisfy the passengers, many of whom would keep their noses closed and breathe from their mouths till they reach their destination. One last thing I had noticed that most of the bus drivers never stop completely when picking up or dropping off passengers as the bus would keep moving, making the passenger feel as if he or she is jumping from a cliff. But who cares?
The Auction Station: In Kuwait, this modern and rich country, we have no decent car auction. Can you believe that? Yes, it is true. The auction is erected illegally after Jahra area in an isolated dusty yard with no proper entrances or exits.
I doubt whether many of the auctioneers there even have valid licenses to practice their jobs. If the car is actually worth KD 1,000, you would be lucky if you can sell if for KD 500. So many want to take advantage and try to make fault with the car so that you would sell it very cheaply. I always ask myself this question, where are the big companies which seek to invest in establishing a most sophisticated car auction here in Kuwait? I am sure that the government would not hesitate to give the land on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) system for a reputable company to build a nice auction with all facilities including traffic department, insurance, cafes, mobile shops, security, etc. You might as well sell your car through a ‘car for sale’ application.
Till the next article insha Allah
By Talal Al-Ghannam