Cover image

Bravery and a Heady Recklessness

Jan 22 2020

In this post:

What do driving in a construction zone, running errands, and Mission Impossible have in common?

What happened last night? Nothing much. My husband called me early in the afternoon to tell me that the registration of the car was ready and that he had to go to pick it up at the dealer, and he wanted me to go with him. That changed my plans for the rest of the afternoon but, overall, I had a very productive day, advancing with my writing and showering and getting dressed.—Trust me, when writing a book, showering and getting dressed feels like a heroic effort.—Come the afternoon, I am not ready when I said I will be, which doesn’t surprise my husband, and I have already stopped feeling guilty for such things. I said I’ll be ready at four thirty but both my awesome husband and I know what that really means is that six is more convenient for me but I’ll do my best to be ready as early before that which I possibly can and with a little bit of luck, I will be ready by five thirty. And I was, even with extra interruption like sitting to pet the cat once he came home and the like.


So we got in the car. He was hoping that I would remember the way to the dealership and I sort of did; once, but not anymore. Roads in this country have a really nasty trick of been here one day and obliterated the next with no previous warning. Google maps and such cannot keep pace with all the roads that disappear from one day to another and reappear in weird configurations in the middle of a dusty dawn. The last time we attempted to navigate a construction zone with Google maps, I swear the thing almost cried. Anyway, a leg of the trip that should have lasted 17 minutes took almost an hour to complete. Fortunately, we missed just one major turn on the route and the rest was the usual heavy, hair-rising traffic and people driving like they were on Mad Max or The Fast and the Furious. You need bravery and a heady recklessness to drive in these conditions, also good humor. It took a great deal of that and patience, but we completed the trip unscathed. We were humming the tune from Mission Impossible at every turn and with every delivery moppet that crisscrossed around traffic as well as for every uncivilized driver that pulled particularly mean acts of misanthropy on the road. That is a lot of humming.


The adventure was not without its perks for me: it got me out of cooking dinner, and now I have something to say, just one normal evening in my life in the desert. I heard other, worldly significant things are going on in Doha, like the inauguration of the metro, and peace talks among warring factions, all of which I think is really exciting, but most of which happens beyond what I can see from the narrow windows of my secluded life.

Qatar Night