(photo by wasapninjordan)
I have been driving for almost 15 years now and I have driven in many places. I know many of the expatriate community are not used to the driving behaviour in Jordan but I think more you drive the easier it gets.
When I started driving in Jordan, I was given my first piece of advice. ‘just look ahead, don’t worry about whose behind you, and watch out for the Mutahajbeens (I think I spelt this correctly). Mutahajbeens are women who wear the headscarf.
In honesty I think many people will have different views on this but I didn’t see a difference between Mutahajbeen drivers compared to other drivers. What I discovered was that when you see a minibus driver, stay far away. J
The circles or the ‘roundabouts’ as we call them in the UK are an exciting experience in Jordan. The rule is simple and there is only one rule. If you can get on the circle then do it, otherwise you will be stuck waiting. My experience however has been that apparently it is the right of the new driver who is joining the circle rather then the driver who is already driving round the circle. Is this true?
I have witnessed accidents, bad driving, fast driving, traffic jams and simply bad organisation by the police officers but what I have never witnessed is the people, the drivers getting angry at one another, of course you may see an occasional driver in a bad mood but nothing like what I am used to in the UK. I dare not look at another driver in the UK, with the fear of being attacked.
If I accidentally make a wrong move or do something wrong, all I have to do is smile and raise my hand to apologise. Wonderful J however in the UK I would seriously have to think about how I respond back, and question if I have just messed with the wrong person today.
Who owns the road? Pedestrians or the drivers? I get amazed at how daring the pedestrians are when facing an upcoming car. It’s an unwritten rule I think. You know that people are gonna stop if they see a pedestrian on the road. However there is a nasty side to this and as I understand the number of pedestrians’ getting run over by cars is increasing year by year; so please be careful when crossing the road.
In conclusion if you give me the choice, where would I rather be driving? My choice is definitely Jordan. Sure I miss the rules and a sense of order but I do not fear driving here at all like I did in the UK. I enjoy driving here in Jordan, because I know I am not likely to be a victim of road rage.