Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Accident Management



The sound is unmistakable. I hear it now and then. I look out and a truck has hit a bus, on a busy corner, near a busier turn-off.

I sigh. I dial 777. Thanks be to God, they answer promptly these days and within 30 seconds, there is someone on who can speak English. She asks good questions, she is efficient, and 1 minute later I am off the phone.

34 minutes later the police show up. I am guessing they are kind of busy, it is rush hour time.

Here is my question. In the US, in the EU and in many countries where I have lived, we are required to carry warning triangles, flares, etc. and if you are in an accident, you are required to put the warnings out, like 20 meters back from the accident, to prevent further problems.

I never see that happen. Honestly, I can’t even watch, it’s too heart stopping, because an accident is just an invitation to another accident until the police come and get the accidentees out of the road.

What are the official requirements in Kuwait if you are involved in an accident, other than waiting for the police to arrive?

Second question: at the same intersection we frequently have those traffic stops where the police block traffic to a narrow flow and check papers. I see people all the time talking to police and there is a body-language thing I don’t understand. Arms held straight, raised up, elbows bent and then brought down, straight, both at the same time. It might be supplication, begging for pity, throwing themselves on the mercy of the police because they don’t have papers, but it is not a gesture I know. I never see anyone cry (a favorite ploy of speeding girls in the US) and I am wondering if crying would work here?

September 12, 2007 - Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Social Issues


  1. not sure about the actual law thing, but the arms thing just seems to be the ” this is my explanation, why dont you believe me, please believe me youre a good man, why dont you let me go” expression.

    it kind of includes all of that in one gesture.

    it can also be used by someone explaining things to someone else, as in ” i’m telling you how to do it, ( raise up to god) , god why doesnt he understand! its so simple, ( to the left) you do it like this/that, and then (move to the right) you do it like that ”

    a frustration gesture is what it is, and its actually quite interesting to see how different the gulf arabs are to say the egyptian version to the lebanese version to the iranian version. each culture has slight nuances that make their movements unique, like i’m sure many places in italy have their own special hand gesture.

    and yeah i dont know how much crying would help here, but its not pretty when that happens.

    Comment by sknkwrkz | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. how come you are always the one calling 777?

    Comment by purgatory | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  3. Thank you, Skunk. How do you know all these things?? It sounds right. And I am dying to learn all the nuances!

    Purg, only once before. It’s outside my window. Speaking of outside the window, hope you are having eerlijk weer! 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  4. cos i’ve noticed i do it too at times 😛

    you’ll pick it up i’m sure, especially if you spend more time with locals and arab expats.

    the funny thing is when you see someone on the phone doing it, alot like they do in italy too 😛

    Comment by sknkwrkz | September 12, 2007 | Reply

  5. Oh Skunk, how funny. Yes, I have seen people do it while on the phone, but I have seen it so often, it has sunk below the level of consciousness, you know what I mean? And yes, it is very Mediterranean – Italian, Greek . . .even the French and the Spanish use their hands a lot. Excellent point.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 13, 2007 | Reply

  6. Gotta love the accidents occurring near where I work. Always some military convoy driving past, they don’t stop at red lights. Never did one single convoy stop at a red light. Usually they run over a car or a bus.

    Welcome to the Wild Wild West at Ahmadi.

    Comment by Я | September 13, 2007 | Reply

  7. Я – i am guessing you are talking about the convoys heading “north” – and if they don’t stop for a stoplight, it must be a security thing, but I would think they would have traffic police out there helping them prevent just the kind of thing you are talking about – needless injury, needless loss of life. Aaarrgh.

    Does Ahmadi have their beautiful lights out for Ramadan? I remember them from the winter fest.

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 13, 2007 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: