Monday, 20 September 2010

The Loss of a great British Institution

I am in an ecstatic mood today - the meeting with Dr Death yesterday couldn't have gone better. I have no new lesions showing on my MRI, no current activity, and some of the lesions that appeared on the MRI last year have disappeared completely. Couldn't have asked for a better result. It appears that I have beaten the illness into retreat for now. My flight or fight response has always been to fight - so MS, you come and have a go if you think you are hard enough!

But, today, as I drove back from breakfast with a friend, my exuberance was tainted by the lack of one of my favourite of the great British institutions - the rude hand gesture whilst driving. A well positioned middle finger, two fingers, or a gesture resembling the movement a man might make when alone, in the bathroom naked, can be exactly what is called for on the odd occasion. But, in the UAE, any form of rude hand gesture is strictly forbidden. We have an American expat to thank for a recent reminder of said rule. Driving here is hectic, and frustrating and this poor guy clearly couldn't take it anymore and gave the other driver the finger. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong person to gesture to, and for his trouble he got a month in prison and deportation. Hmmm.

I'm not really sure what their motivations are for banning the gesture. Perhaps they think it will distract you from your driving (yeah, right). So for now, the mirror, signal, gesture, manoeuvre has to become mirror-signal-manoeuvre (although of course, if you took your driving test in Dubai, you skip the first two!). Safe driving!

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