Archives for posts with tag: Cars

To Porsche or not to Porsche, that is the question
Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…

After a couple of months of suffering in direction-less taxis we quickly came to the realisation that we needed a car. The rental market is huge here, and finding one wasn’t a problem. However, the monthly cost was more than what we anticipated as anything larger than a car is roughly double the price.

Hubby was convinced on the need to buy and researched the options. It’s a strange car market in Qatar, with small 4WDs rare to come by, and cars have to be relatively new (circa 5 years) in order to get full insurance. I was setting my sights on a 2 door Pajero, while Hubby aimed at more ambitious (outrageous!) options. His ideal: a Porsche Cayenne.

I’ve dreamt of a Porsche for many years. Let me be honest now (because I think I can be honest with you, Internetland): there is nothing sexier than the 911’s arse (mmmmmmmmm *drool*)

:}~

Sexy Piece

And in my older years I dream of rescuing and doing up of these beauties:

1958 Sexy Piece

1958 Sexy Piece

The hulking great V8 Cayenne was never on my radar. I thought these ‘Remuera/Chelsea Tractors’ were a little ridiculous. Un-Porsche like. And, why would you? They don’t have an arse to die for, they are not sleek and sultry.

Porsche Cayenne S

Porsche Cayenne S

I pursued my more realistic dream of a practical small 4WD, while Hubby kept pressing forward with his Cayenne desires.

Due to the rarity of small 4WDs on the market they charge a premium. There’s a large gap between ‘smallish’ to Land Cruiser and GIANT AMERICAN TRUCK. Hubby did not want to consider car options for fear of DEATH AT ROUNDABOUTS.

This really does happen!

This really does happen!

So he looked. I argued. He continued. I denied. He hunted online. I looked too. We trekked Salwa Road in a wind-whipped sandstorm seeking other options.

The question: how can a Porsche be cheaper than a Pajero?!

With more Cayenne’s on the market, with all of the internal options in comparison to basic Japanese models, why wouldn’t you? My answer, obviously, is because it’s RIDICULOUS. That was my only reason. The quality was there. The cost. Meeting our basic needs and requirements. The niggling voice saying “but it’s a Porsche 4WD” needed adjusting. Soon changing to “but it’s a Porsche” to “but it’s a PORSCHE!”. Hubby had won. He had broken me down.

Yesterday we brought our baby home. We have now peaked in terms of cars, and never ever in our lives will we be able to afford another car like this. It’s a 4.8L V8 and purrs, PURRS like a contented lion. It has buttons aplenty, many of which we don’t know what they do, and we have plenty to learn.

It cost 80 Qatari Riyals to fill up. That’s £14 or NZ$27.

We will never be able to afford this again. So we’re doing it. We’re living the dream.

[Next car: 911?!]

After my brief visit to Doha in November I was almost certain I was not going to drive here. The roads are a scary place, full of large, white 4WDs, fluid lanes on the roundabout, constant honking, and a stop-anywhere attitude.

You have to get a car here, there aren’t really any other options. So, I tried getting a driver who kindly charged me the equivalent of £10 each way to and from work (and I thought the tube was expensive!). To cut costs I’ve tried getting a licensed Karwa taxi. The problem is, there aren’t that many of them, and the drivers are all new arrivals who have absolutely no idea where you want to go. But at least I’m cutting costs, despite the 30 minute wait this morning.

Walking is a completely different experience here. It’s not the done thing. Footpaths disappear suddenly so you end up walking through dust or on the road. But it’s the cars, the men, the random men…

The flash their lights. They toot. They creepily slow and cruise along beside you. You shake your head. They look at you strangely. You look confused and turn away. Anywhere else it would look like they were trying to pick up working girls, and that’s a little how we’re left feeling (are we wearing something inappropriate?), a little harassed. But they are just unlicensed taxis, trying to pick up business – it’s illegal for them to do so, and it’s illegal for you to use them.

It looks like getting a car and driving myself is the best option. In preparation I’ve been looking up some ‘road rules’:

Rules of the Road by Rochester (from Qatar Living)

[Remember, your lives are in the hands of God: Have No Fear!]
Ten Top Tips for driving in the Gulf

1. Keep to your lane!

Landcruisers, BMWs and Mercedes may use the fast lane.

All other cars should keep to the right.

2. On entering a round-about, remember God preserves the Pure in Heart.
Just drive straight in and He will protect you.

3. The right lane of a round-about is reserved for taxis to drop off passengers.

4. Double parking on round-abouts is only permitted if vendors are selling National Flags or watermelons.

5. Take the right hand lane if you are turning left, and vice versa.

6. If ‘other’ types of car use the fast lane, flash your headlights and they will get out of the way. Failing this, a gentle nudge to the bumper will do the trick.

7. Red traffic lights mean Stop! Green means Go!
* [Landcruisers and pickups are exempt from this rule.]

8. Always stay back at least ten inches from the car in front of you.
* [Landcruisers and pickups are exempt from this rule.]

9. Children sitting on the driver’s lap need not use a safety belt.

10. Use your horn frequently to signal “Have a Nice Day, Brothers!”

I will always wear my seatbelt. (“Make it click!”)

Wish me luck…!