Friday, October 1, 2010

Driving Me Crazy

Before I came to this country, I read that Kuwait has one of highest car accident  fatality rates. Now living here, I see how it's true.  I am often terrified when riding in a car or taxi.  The ride usually consists of me holding the overhead grip at least once because of some insane driver in a rush or not paying attention.  I've also noticed an alarming number of people who don't wear seat belts.  And children playing on the dashboard.

Keeping all of that in mind, today, the hubby and I  spent a couple of hours at the Kuwait Scientific Center in the Aquarium.  Just some good old fashioned family time.  The aquarium is much smaller than the massive ones like the Georgia and Tennessee Aquariums in the U.S. but I still found it to be filled with unique and interesting specimens like bats, penguins and killer sharks.  The video touch-screens describing each exhibit were a nice touch as well.

On the way home my cheerful mood was grossly violated when not 2 minutes away from the Scientific Center, we drove past flashing lights and an apparent car accident.  An SUV's front end was run up on the curb and 3 police cars were on the scene.  I was thinking, "Oh, not another accident.  I hope no one was..."  And then I saw him.  A man was lying on his left side in the fetal position.  I thought maybe he was in pain, waiting for an ambulance.  He wasn't moving.  Then I saw the top of his head.  There was a gigantic hole in it and his brain was spilling out from his skull.  I squeezed my eyes shut and wished that I had not looked.  Other than a funeral, I have never seen  a dead body.  After feeling very scared, shocked and very sorry for the man, I began to get very angry.

First of all, I should never have seen that, no one should.  I started thinking that I had just come from a place where there were hundreds of children, and that many of their families were probably right behind us in their cars.  What if I child saw that?  There were enough police cars on the scene for one of them to have covered that body.  Police officers are often the first responders and they should have survival kits with a blanket in their trunks.

How can this culture cover up a woman's body in an advertorial photo by blacking out too much leg or photo shopping a fake shirt on a woman because it exposed too much cleavage but no one rushes to cover a man's brains spilling out on the street? Censorship is so strong in this country.  OK I get it.  But what about real life?  It just seems backwards to me.  Speaking of backwards, on the WAY to the Scientific Center, we saw a local driving an SUV with a sun visor on the front driver's side.  It covered the entire window!  I know he couldn't see the side view mirror.  I guess he thought he wouldn't need it since most of the drivers here just lane jump with out looking anyway.  I just keep thinking about that poor, unfortunate man.  Was he trying to cross the street?  Did the car just jump the curb?  Or did someone like the dumb ass I saw earlier ( that couldn't see properly from the drivers side because he was driving with a sun visor at night) decide to not slow down because everyone here seems to think they have the right of way?  What happened to pedestrians having the right of way?  Is that even a law here?  It should be.  But then again... the traffic laws don't seem to be enforced here.


Desert Girl said...

There is no respect for life here - human or otherwise.

I wonder if dude was just walking across the street and was killed, or if he was thrown from the SUV because he didn't have his seat belt on. Either way, common.

I've seen several dead bodies - and several accidents that occurred right next to me. Sometimes, someone will stop and cover at least the head with a gutara (white men's head covering) or newspaper.

Kuwaiti police first responders? LOL ....Yeah, you haven't been here long enough.

Did you notice the +/- 100 people who parked their cars on the street (obstructing traffic and potentially causing additional accidents), jumping out of their cars, running to the scene/body, having a cigarette and discussing what happened? It is rubber-necking to the Nth - and the police condone it.

I'm sorry you had to see this. You haven't had a very good impression of Kuwait so far, have you, girl? :(

Butterfly on the Wall said...

It looked like he was struck by the SUV, but I'm not sure. It's just so terrible how the cops were just chatting and hanging out by their cars. I would at least expect respect for the dead in such a religious country.

In the case of responders like police, ambulance and fire. Police usually get there first... at least in my country. The law enforcement here seems more like glorified mall security guards.

At this point, no, my overall impression is not a very good one. It will take a lot of work to fix what is terribly wrong here. Although, I still have hope that I will experience the few good people that shine.

Funky Camel said...

the problem is not with it being not enforced, but it being revoked with the "wasta",, people talking to their friends in the force and stuff like that, people drive like that because they are confident of getting away with it.

MKWMDA said...

My gosh that sounds awful. So sorry you had to see that! It sounds dreadful. I agree, there should be more respect than that. Just terrible.