Saudi Arabia’s Bedu Drivers

Driving is always hazardous throughout the Kingdom but after one has been in the Kingdom for awhile it is easy to discern driving habits of the bedu. Perhaps it is because the bedu is more accustomed to the open spaces of the desert that he views the entire roadway, even the lanes belonging to incoming traffic as his own. And I think it is also fair to say that the majority of Bedu drivers are impatient drivers. If traffic is blocking their path they will simply veer off road regardless of conditions or what kind of vehicle they are driving.

However recently I observed firsthand antics of a Bedu driver that still have me shaking my head… driving to and from work I will routinely see a number of Bedu’s on the road. I was on my way to work and not surprisingly there was a long traffic jam at a major intersection. A Bedu driver in a small toyota pick up, which Bedu’s also seem to favor for some reason, decided he would simply go “off road” up on the embankment and around the stopped traffic. In principle it sounds nice and made sense. Unfortunately though in reality it did not quite work that way for the bedu. As he was driving his small pick up truck up the embankment the chassis of his truck got caught on the embankment leaving it rocking with a wheel from the front and a wheel from the back suspended in the air. The Bedu got out of his truck to survey the situation. He tried rocking his truck to see if he could free it. He just wasn’t having any luck.

Now it just happened that it was in the bedu’s favor that one of his bedu friend’s was driving by and noticed his predicament. The bedu friend, who was in a new and large SUV easily went off road and stopped his SUV atop the embankment behind the other bedu’s small toyota pick up truck. Together they assessed the situation. They attempted as a team to safely “rock” the toyota pick up off of the embankment but were not successful. After an animated discussion they each get inside their respective vehicles. The bedu in the SUV puts his vehicle into reverse and goes back about 10 – 15 feet. He then accellerates and literally rams the back of his bedu friend’s toyota pick up truck. The severe jolt to the toyota pick up truck allowed the bedu to steer his truck off of the embankment and back to the road, albeit in a now obviously battered pick up truck.

The last I saw of this bedu was as he waved happily to his friend driving onwards in his now battered truck to his intended destination.


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