Archive | February, 2014

Backseat Driver

13 Feb

back seat driversA guy once told me, “When a car suddenly stops in the middle of the road, know that it has a woman (or more) telling there driver to turn HERE, TURN TURN TURN!! While he has no idea what to do.”

Ha, That’s pretty true, I can vouch for that. Though I normally give my driver enough of a notice to change lanes, he normally doesn’t listen.

So my current driver is a “good guy” so far. Manners, doesn’t argue, looks clean, only smells a bit sometimes. But he’s FOB. He had no idea where Malik road (One of the main roads of Jeddah) was when he first started working for us, (I have no idea how he found his way to our house to begin with). Anyhow, I had to give up playing candy crush in the car because now I had to pay attention to the roads.

“Go straight, stay in the left lane, at the second light turn left. No, not this one, next one.”

“this is called prince Sultan street, remember that. Ok now go straight…… turn left….. turn next right…. go seeda (straight)…. make u-turn….. okay park here! No, no, back up you missed it. yeah ok here, I’ll walk. ”

Yayyy arrived at our destination!

Lol. But he really is a nice guy. And he’s calm. I like that. And willing to learn. Let’s hope he lasts…. Loosing drivers is more traumatizing than ending a relationship.

I think we need to start issuing backseat drivers licenses. So at least we feel some sort of legitimacy. In all fairness, My grandmother is a HORRIBLE back-seat driver. She keeps saying “Luf hena, min hena!!” (Turn here, no no here!), while waving with her hand from the back seat. Naturally, the poor driver has to physically turn around to see if she’s pointing left or right, which is a dangerous thing to do in the middle of the road while driving. Thankfully, they haven’t been in any accidents, God bless and protect them.

But yeah, Saudi women are probably the most professional back-seat drivers EVER. I’m printing the picture above and filling it out with my info and carrying it around in my wallet. In case anyone asks for proof of license.

 

 

 

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We need an Ad-lee

6 Feb

Tides change, months and years go by, websites and apps take over the world, and we still can’t drive our cars. No only cane we not drive our cars, but any other form of public transportation either doesn’t exist or is dangerous. But Saudi is full of entrepreneurs and businessmen eager to start something that will make tons of money. What I don’t understand is WHY HASN’T ANYONE SOLVED OUR DRIVER PROBLEM???!!

So far, the most common way of finding a driver is sending out a whatsapp broadcast and having your friends ask their drivers if they know anyone looking for a job. How efficient.┬áTalk about desperate times…

idea-girl

So, if any of you are looking for a lucrative, profitable business, listen closely because I’m about to offer you the business opportunity of the year. Yes it needs a bit of a hefty investment, but trust me, the returns will be worth it.

1- Bring in a fleet of, say, 100 cars to begin with. Brand them nicely with your website on the back.

2- Hire and train capable drivers for those cars. They can be local, but they have to know the roads, wear a clean uniform (opportunity to design your own branded thobes) and have basic manners and communication skills. They have to know that if they make any client uncomfortable or harass her, there will be consequences. They also have to have good benefits and achievable targets/shifts to ensure that they stay on.

3- Get a programmer to design an app like the one Addison lee has in the UK (http://www.addisonlee.com/). Make sure its in Arabic as well.┬áThis app will require the pick up time, location, and drop off location. It then provides you with the fee quotation, and sends a text message to your phone with the driver’s car plate and phone number when he has arrived at the pickup point.

4- A modest online campaign or a viral one and You’re ready to go! Just sit back and watch the money roll in.

 

Addison lee is not the only car pick up service available in the UK. and I’m sure there are many more as well around the world. So why is it so difficult and expensive to get a decent ride? or cheap and dangerous. These illegal drivers are still on the rode, operating their own fleet via word of mouth. My friends were joking the other night about how they are all using the same driver to the point where he tells one about the whereabouts of the other, especially if they got dropped off at the same location!

 

So yeah, and takers out there?? Come on we need to use these apps to our advantage!

How Candy Crush has Saved My Realationship With My Driver

4 Feb

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I’m going to admit to a slight addiction to the notorious Candy Crush. But since I have a fear of Addictions, I limit my use to certain locations… before bed, when I wake up, in the umm… “loo” , and in the car. That last bit has probably saved my driver from having me freak out on him for wrong turns, taking the long way, flashing his lights at cars, weaving in and out of traffic, and various other annoying to dangerous driving habits that my otherwise un-preoccupied self would have jumped at.

Basically I’m not paying attention to his driving, or the road, or the idiots and the road. Not backseat driver, a lot less stress.

So Thank you Candy Crush. You might be a huge waste of time, but in this case, you’ve been very useful!