Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sweet Home Manama 3 - a Top Gear post

Another diary entry from 2003

One of the striking differences between the UAE and Bahrain is the average age of the cars on the road.

The life cycle of the average Merc/BMW/4 x Lexus is probably in the range of 2 years in the Emirates due to the high accident rate or the kudos of having a new vehicle as often as possible. Here on the island, a 15 year old Mazda is considered a youngster, and the more dents the better (I believe the Bahrainis may be second cousins to the Italians).

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that the cars here are low on accessories. Not so. Global positioning systems may not be the average “Comes as Standard”, but they do have something similar. It’s called a cat’s whisker. Not in the radio sense you understand. Maybe I should explain.

If Mr Mohammed gets in his car in the morning and reverses too quickly, he will be met by a howling resistance as he runs over cat number one, who is sleeping peacefully against the tyre, replete with the contents of Mr Mohammed’s dustbin.

If the same gent decides to drive to afternoon prayers, he will find the same cat, bruised, but persistent, lying on top of the same tyre, in the shade of the wheel arch.

By evening prayers, the aforementioned, slightly flat cat will be stretched on the roof of his car, scratching its head against the arial, thereby gaining better reception to the local radio station. Should Mr Mohammed choose to drive again to the Mosque, it is very likely the cat will accompany him there, being too exhausted to get off the car. Due to the afternoon heat, it is, like as not, welded to the roof.

As the condensation of the days heat accumulates on the car, by midnight the cat has slid from the roof, cleaning the back window en route, and will be found underneath the tyre the following morning.

And so the wheels they keep a turning.

© by Sparrowchatter 2011

1 comment:

Linda said...

Now this one had to be written while you lived in Ammaria Centre!!! You loved the cats and I'm exactly like Mr. Mohammed and the cats still love my car and I still dislike them! In the midst of a week of change here in Bahrain, the cats have not changed!