A while ago, back in the UK, i sat at the table with my husband, listening to him telling me about this local guy who got stuck on M25 because he ran out of petrol. Ha-ha-ha! I said. How stupid does one have to be, really?
Well, i dont really want to know the answer, because today, i managed to get stuck right in the middle of a very busy junction.
Back in the UK i drove a malenkiy Skoda fabia. In Qatar, everyone who has any sense buys as big of a car as she or he can afford. Qataris, as i have noticed, are addicted to Land Cruisers. So, i figured, that they must know what works best here, and chose a Prado- a baby Land Cruiser.
I have to say, i love my baby Prado as if she were my third child. I sing her songs and say goodnight to her. Sometimes, walking past the window, i glance out to see what she is up to. So, i still am in shock that i could have neglected her so badly. In the middle of a very busy junction, fortunately at the traffic lights, we got stuck. The car refused to move. I panicked, drivers behind me got annoyed...and only after a few helpless attempts to start the engine did i realize that there was no petrol in my baby. None.
You see, my excuse is that my old car, small as it might be, was intelligent enough to beep at me when she was running out of petrol. She would let out this unmissable, disturbing kind of noise that never failed to capture my attention. Toyota, however, is not designed that way. She never made any warning noise or flashed any warning light. Husband suggested that the problem is not that Toyota is not intelligent enough but that it might be designed for intelligent people.
He tried to scare me. The police will take away your license! They will probably fine you now! But, nothing like that happened. In fact, i have to admit, Doha road police were nice. It took them less than five minutes to arrive, and they were not even annoyed with me. Their English was not very good, and they took turns to figure out what the problem was. Very embarrassing, i tried to explain. Ran out of petrol. No petrol!
But the policemen just could not imagine anyone could be that stupid. They kept looking for a more respectable explanation to me sitting in he middle of the junction causing chaos.
Fnally, one of them laughed and used the word that sounded familiar to me (a lot of arabic words actually are the same in azeri) Ha! He said. Sifr petrol! Sifr!
Yes, yes! I shouted excitedly. Sifr petrol! Zero! Sifr!
And then, in the middle of the chaos, an even bigger car appeared at our side and Husband, like a knight in a shining armour came to rescue me. He apologized for allowing his mentally challenged wife out of the house, and went off to get me some petrol.
Cooped with the baby screaming all the way home, my older child bruising her elbow later in the afternoon, and me dripping pineapple juice from the box all over just washed floors....my day simply could not have gotten much better.