After ck’s lovely post about a difficult situation experienced by a 19 year old girl, I felt the blog needed a shot of testosterone, and so this post is about “Drifting,” Saudi style. Wikipedia defines drifting as “a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa).” While Wikipedia discusses regional variations of this otherwise stupid activity, there is no stupider regional variation than Hagwalah, the version practiced in Saudi Arabia. In the rest of the world, drifting takes place on tracks or deserted roads. In Saudi Arabia, Hagwalah aficionados practice on public roads. With traffic. Sometimes while firing AK-47s out the window. Is this the inevitable consequence of a theocratic government whose citizens have more money than sense?
The fact that no one got hurt here is at least in part a testament to the driver’s skill. But it’s a terrible idea to do this on a highway, close to other cars (like a schoolbus!!) and to unprotected spectators while clearly not wearing a seat belt. This is some dangerous and crazy stuff. How dangerous? In the next video, the driver while barely going 60 mph, loses control and horrific mayhem ensues. How horrific? So horrific that I must urge you to please NOT watch this video. So horrific that it makes driving in Tel Aviv seem like riding on a Merry-Go-Round. Please, do not watch this video. Go hug someone you love instead, take a walk in the park and always, always wear your seat belts.
I’m dead serious. I hope you took my advice. Oh and that image up on top? That’s from a Hagwalah-themed video by UK rapper M.I.A. which was shot in Ouarzazate, Moroccoâ€”the same place Lawrence of Arabia was shot. In Morocco you see, women are allowed to drive. M.I.A.’s next album is coming out this summer.
Always wear seat belts!