In Which Becky Has A Minor Car Accident

Published September 9, 2010 by Christa Maurice

We had a training this morning. Yesterday, Barbara (my newest best friends who wants to be attached to my hip) informed me that we were going to Dubai with someone we just met and someone I don’t know. If I was a lunatic, I’d have headed off on a two hour drive through the desert to another city – but I’m not. Not like that anyway. Even better, this trip involved smoking shisha. I don’t smoke and I don’t have any interest in trying. I think the pipes are pretty, but only as decoration. So I needed to come up with a reason for not going. The training was a brutal rehashing of all the information I already had, plus the bonus of me having to stand up in front of the entire group and ask everyone to check their stuff to see if they had my bag.

On the way home from the school around 11, a tanker truck decided to cut us off. He ended up scraping up Becky’s mirror and to get it fixed in this country, you need a white paper from the police proving they investigated the accident. So we called the Saaed, the traffic police. The driver of the truck and the guy with him got out and started getting in her face. Barbara stayed in the car. I was trapped in the back seat because one side was pinned to the truck and the other side had the child safety locks engaged. I climbed between the seats to the driver’s seat (in a floor length skirt, yet) and got out so Becky wouldn’t be dealing with these guys alone. Then another guy showed up. I started writing down the license plate number and the “how am I driving” number and the driver started blustering at me. I just looked at him and said, “that’s not helping” and went back to my note taking. Barbara stayed in the car.

About an hour and a half after the accident (full sun, 100+ temps), the Saaed showed up. The co-driver had been saying they just wanted to admit to the accident so we could all go home. When the cops showed up, the driver decided to lie, claiming that Becky had tried to cut him off. Because driving a Toyota Yaris, she’s going to want to duke it out with a flammable tanker truck. She’s suicidal that way. The cop had limited English and between that and the conflicting stories, he told us to meet him at the station. Barbara was still in the car. I was feeling more and more confident in my decision not to go anywhere with her.

We drove to the station and waited because the other driver took the scenic route. Didn’t really matter because Becky ended up telling her story (now with hand-drawn maps) repeatedly while the other driver’s story kept changing. She tried to cut him off. She trid to cut him off on the driver’s side. There was a roundabout involved. Honestly, I was waiting for unicorns and flying saucers to appear and have caused the accident. And everyone who came into the station had an opinion about it. A woman came in who was completely veiled and she started arguing. She got so caught up that she took her veil off so she could argue face to face. Two hours, going higher and higher up in the organizational chart. Barbara did get out of the car for this, but she started to make a comment about getting a cab back to the hotel, but I cut her off with something unrelated because I was not going to leave Becky alone and I didn’t want to have it out with Barbara about appropriate behavior in a crisis at the police station. Finally, a prosecutor who was a fluent English speaker arrived on unrelated business and he understood that Becky didn’t want the other driver cited, she just wanted the paper to get her car fixed. Then everybody was happy and laughing and they gave her the paper so we could leave. We got back to the hotel at three.

I told Barbara I’d see her later planning to “forget” about our trip and not answer my door. I was actually starting to get a headache, probably from stress and an hour and a half in the sun without my sunglasses or a hat. Barbara showed up at my door at 3:30 to let me know that we were leaving at 4:30. I told her I wasn’t going because I was getting a migraine. Okay, it was a little fib, but I did have a headache.

I drank a bunch of water and took a nap then I ordered room service because I’ve added it up and I can spend as much going to a mall to eat as I’ll spend on room service. It showed up and not long after, Shelby (Karen’s daughter) did too. She just wanted to hang out and seemed to be in a bad mood, so I let her in and asked if she wanted anything to eat. She said no and sat on my bed watching History Channel. About an hour later Karen showed up. She’s had it again. Yesterday she was happy because her husband was coming and now ADEC is saying they can’t book her husband’s tickets until she has her resident visa and that might not be for a couple weeks yet. She kept saying, “you’re handling everything fine. How are you handling everything so well.” I told her that I didn’t have as much to worry about, I’ve already been through so many disasters that I know it’ll turn out and I have enough cash to head home anytime. Everything will get sorted out eventually. In the meantime, I cool my heels in a four star hotel with free breakfast every morning. Eid is very soon (there’s a moon sighting involved, apparently you can’t just count 28 days from the last time that moon was in the sky) and school starts next week, so something’s gonna change no matter what.

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6 comments on “In Which Becky Has A Minor Car Accident

    • Everybody seems to smoke shisha here and they tell me you don’t inhale, you just hold it in your mouth for the flavor. I thought that’s what food was for. Besides, my room is right above the Indian restaurant, so all I need for flavor is to stand on the balcony.

  • My calendar says Eid is today, and yes, the moon has to be sited. There are people who use those pipes at the Ethiopian restaurant. It is just tobacco but it looks so illegal.

    Sounds like you handled this whole thing great, did the guy understand when you told him he wasn’t helping? LOL

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