Monday, May 25, 2015

A Comparison of the use of Car Horns Between Countries

In my home country---the land far and away---a car/vehicle blasting its horn at you means you are possibly going to die., i.e., someone is going to hit you/run over you if you don't move/react the right way.

In Oman, it means many, many, less important things.

It means, "hey Mohammed, come take my order!" (from Mr. Lazy-Ass who can't get out of his car at the restaurant/coffeeshop).

It means, "hey there, lsmat, ya ukti," (from, 'I am a creepy dude in a car trying to hit on you')... to anything female that moves."

It means, "pull over, because you are going the speed limit," from (I want to kill myself and/or innocent others" on the expressway guy)... who ends up right beside you at the next red light, but whatev...

It means, "your abaya is sticking out the door!" from (possibly concerned---but more than likely, try-to flirt-with-you guys).

It also means, "thank you" which always, always, scares the crap out of me, when we let someone go into our lane when it is polite to help others merge in traffic.

I don't know, I'll never get used to Oman's use of hazard lights and the car horn, I think. I will always, always, think I am about to possibly die, when I hear a horn blast.

And then, when I don't die, I will be so irate, when I see some lazy-ass in his car with ac on, while some Indian dude has to come out the ac coffeeshop in the middle of the afternoon, to go make change, and deliver a ten second chai karak.


Ayshe said...

haha, so true! I had never used my horn before moving to Oman, but my husband told me I better learn because it is just a way of letting those people that decide to pull out without looking that you are there.

Heather Duncan said...

HAAAAA hilarious!!

Anonymous said...

You should visit India.

Your list would have been a hundred times longer :)

Anonymous said...

I also come from a country (UK) where the horn is only used in an emergency, and it is extremely bad manners to use it in the way that it is used in Oman.

Some time ago, I was in a queue of cars waiting at a junction, when the car in front of me started to roll gently back towards me. It took about 3 goes before I was able to hit the horn in the correct place with sufficient force for it to make a sound and warn the car in front.

I was very grateful for that 'wake up call' that showed me that, although I knew about using the horn in theory (and had demonstrated its use in my driving test), the action of hitting the horn was not an automatic instinctive reaction and that it was time to remedy this.

So I then proceeded to use my horn in situations where I would previously have sat silent. I must admit that it is quite stress relieving to let an idiot know how stupid he has been. And the next time someone started to reverse out at me, hitting the horn was instinctive. Lesson well learnt - thank you Oman!

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

And to any other anonymous who wants to talk about the face veil: Some women are forced to wear it, from people who say (without much or with taken out of context Islamic evidence---it is a requirement of Islamic law) it is a requirement of Islamic law, or a requirement of an Arab culture.

Obviously, totally not me, since, I have no Muslim parents, my husband his family are Ibadhi and they don't think the veil is part of Islamic attire (culturally they think this---the grand mufti will say there is a benefit to the veil although not requirement of it). My culture is actually, very prejudiced, sometimes violently, and usually, verbally so, against it.

So when I wore it, I did so just for myself. No one told me to. I did it to separate myself from my appearance. When veiling, one has to be careful in their actions, and their words. Nothing else is communicated but that essentially. As a fashionista, someone who is able to manipulate others with appearance, this helped me better myself. I also found veiling to be a physical reminder (feeling the fabric) of non-physical intentions. Being more patient, making time for prayer more, avoiding music with a less than halal content despite my love of dancing... it had nothing to do with others and was always a choice for myself. I did not wear it to work, where the prejudice of others would then affect their business. And I do not wear it now, though I wish often that I did.

I think it is prejudiced for me to say a woman who veils in a face scarf is "too extreme" the same as telling a woman in bathing suit anything judgmental towards her, to herself. Bathing suit, or sundress or abaya or face veil: a woman is a woman. Her soul, her intention and more often than not, her innocence, are a woman's. We can't see that, in a form of dress.

It would take more than fabric to suppress me, to damper my intelligence.

It takes lack of choice. It is the judegment of a society on the good or bad of a woman, based on her mode of dress.

And that subject, really has nothing to do with my post, which is about the presence of ISIS, and what non-Muslim Westerners can do if they really would like to see then end of extremist sects of Islam. My veil wasn't "extreme". It was personal. It wasn't a power over others, trying to control them, it was independence from society for myself, and only done for myself.

Anyways, 'nuff said on that matter.