I was going back home to Batroun on Friday, stuck in typical traffic overload in Jounieh, when a GMC Yukon suddenly appears behind me, flashing my eyes out for me to give him the left lane.
It was late at night. The right lane was all blocked with cars. It was beyond obvious I couldn’t change lanes except if I wanted to cause some interesting car accident for news services to report the following day. And still he flashed his headlights on and off at me.
Soon enough, when the right lane barely managed to clear, the GMC car bypassed me with another similar car immediately behind it. Up to that point, I had thought it was just one of your regular Lebanese douchebag drivers who think they’re in more hurry than everyone else. However, both GMC cars were exactly the same color and make. They were without license plates and both of them were acting as if the highway belonged to their mother.
A few minutes later, I saw similar headlights beaming at my rear-view mirror. I manage to cede lanes. And behold: two similar GMC cars, without license plates, same color and make. It was another of case of Lebanese politician highway-titis.
Those 4 cars managed to hijack the highway for my entire trip back home. They try to block you from passing them if you tried. And that wasn’t the first time nor was it the last time in recent days when I ran into such convoys.
A few months prior, 4 similar cars created some sort of a cross on the highway, occupying all three lanes, effectively blocking the entire traffic behind them: 2 cars in the central lane and one on each side. I had no idea what they were so I tried to go past them. They almost rammed by car into the separator. It was my one and only warning.
Yesterday, as I took a cab to the Beiruti neighborhood of Hamra, we encountered a fancy car with a “parliament” license plate. That vehicle didn’t care we had right of passage. It almost slammed into us as it tried to overtake us. Douchy Lebanese driving, perhaps. But at least they had a license plate this time.
So the question is: how annoying are the convoys of Lebanese politicians? Very.
Perhaps the extra security measures are warranted. But how can I explain the lack of license plates, for instance? What’s to say those four cars are for some major politician from the North and not for some criminal who knows his way among high-end people? And how is a politician allowed to break the law just because he is whoever he is, effectively making the lives of other Lebanese a worse driving hell because no one dares to double cross those tainted cars that rule the road when they pass?
Our politicians are the primary douches of driving. The mark of the sophistication of a country’s ruling class starts with the way they drive. Let’s just say our politicians drive as if the highway is their jungle.
And you know what’s worse? We’re paying for that.