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Yemenis and traffic

It is amazing to watch, and listen to the traffic here in Sana’a. People routinely stop their car in a narrow, alley like street in order to buy something or just to chat. Of course this backs all traffic up behind them. The people behind the first guy immediately lay on the horn and start calling the first guy names. When the first guy finally gets going, the person behind them inevitably does EXCTLY THE SAME THING. Nobody seems to care in the slightest that they are blocking someone else, but they get mad as hell if they are held up. I notice the same thing with parking, or waiting outside of the car. They have no compunction about blocking an intersection, either with a car or a group of people. Everyone uses the horn all the time. It means, “I’m coming up behind you,” “I’m passing you,” “Get out of my way,” “Why aren’t you going?” and sometimes just to make noise as far as I can tell. It is the norm here to lay on the horn when you come to a group of cars stopped at an intersection WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO CHANGE. The horn is blown, I’m not kidding, about every 45-75 seconds that I am in a cab or dabob. It is maddening, and on my cynical days I think that it is a window into the inner workings of the Yemeni mind….

Isaac

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