Why my driver insisted on buying me a cup of tea?

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Al-Madina newspaper

MY Bangladeshi driver is an expert in avoiding major streets which are hit by overcrowdedness like the arteries getting strokes due to the high cholesterol.

His method of avoiding congested roads is a well-known theory in traffic engineering. It is changing the route between two crowded points in the side lanes which have less but zigzag traffic.

My driver does not use any electronic application or a GPS but uses his thorough knowledge of the roads.

He moves from a crowded main street into a less crowded side lane to reach his destination very quickly.

The other cars which were moving beside him on major streets would still be laboring to get out of these streets while he has already arrived at his destination.

One day, I was sitting with him in the car enjoying his unique method of avoiding traffic congestion, when he suddenly said to me: Father Bangladesh municipality does not have money but the streets in our country are very good while the Jeddah Municipality has a lot of money yet the city's streets are all bad.

I looked at him in anger: How could he dare criticize the streets in Jeddah and its respectable municipality? This is what we were missing. Some one who is not a citizen would dare to point an accusing finger on our streets and municipalities.

I almost broke out at him. I wanted to reprimand him and dock his salary. I even thought of issuing him with a final exit visa.

However, the devil which haunted me for some moments suddenly left me. Instead, an angel hovered over my head. I began to resort to reason to find that he was right.

He was not only true in what he said but he was concerned with the beauty of the streets of the city in which he is living after leaving his own home country.

He worked for years in Jeddah and began to love it dearly as he did the cities in his own country.

What my driver had said was correct. The Jeddah Municipality was not doing anything to the service companies which destroyed all our branch roads filling them with ditches and bumps.

Our streets are in a very poor condition despite the extreme richness of the municipality.

Money everywhere in the world is used to treat the faults of the streets and correct their problems except in Jeddah where the faults and ditches of the streets are increasing without anything being done to correct them.

I hope that our funds will dwindle and become like Bangladesh so that our streets will be kept in good condition.

While I was sitting with him in the car, the hot tea which I was drinking split on my new dress. The tea burnt my skin because of a ditch which suddenly appeared in the middle of the street.

The car started shaking as if hit by an earthquake. The driver felt sad for me and insisted on buying me another cup of tea.

He insisted on his invitation despite his meager salary. I thankfully accepted his gift so as not to embarrass him.

I cannot do anything regarding these streets. I have to succumb and willingly or unwillingly accept their ploys against us.

I will keep doing this until the municipality and the service companies take notice and fix the bad roads.


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