Saturday, July 30, 2005

Lotsa gas but no stations

Why, if we are in a country that exists mainly because of the amount of oil/gas it produces, are there so few petrol stations? I can count on one hand the number in Abu Dhabi city, and if you travel the road from AD to Dubai or AD to Al Ain, you can go for many many many miles before passing one.

I have some problems with this :

1) What if you desperately need petrol - the harsh environment is not friendly to carbon based lifeforms walking along tar roads because their cars have run dry

2) What if you desperately, desperately need to fill up - not with petrol, but with food and liquids - we all know how important it is to drink lots of liquids .... and eat lots of fast food .... and buy lots of the junk (oops, sorry, I mean interesting trinkets) they sell at these petrol station shops.

3) What if you desperately, desperately, desperately need to make a p-stop - which is my main reason for stopping at petrol stations. There is no chance of stopping at the nearest bush (there are none) or tree - palm tree trunks are not wide enough to shield motorists from my wobbly, pale butt. Besides, I would be committing any number of sins and breaking any number of laws by watering the shrubbery - so if I didn't go to jail, I would certainly go to hell!

There are some other intriguing aspects about the petrol stations here ...

Even the smallest, most out-of-the-way petrol station will usually have a beautifully built, ornate mosque on the premises. Some are quite small, even pre-fab buildings on stilts, but all the ones I have seen have been quite striking. (Some petrol stations do not actually even have toilets, but DO have a mosque - guess you have got to get your priorities right!)

The local garage on the corner and its beautiful mosque

When you pull up to a pump, you MUST ensure your petrol cap is on the side nearest the pump. This is LAW and you (and the petrol station owner) will be fined if you pull the hose around or over your car.

Because there are so few petrol stations, the queues can sometimes be quite frightening - the first time we saw the queues, we thought of Zimbabwe - where people queued for days to get their ration of petrol ... then sanity prevailed - they are not going to run out of petrol here for quite some time ...........

And now - to be a complete B*tch .... let me tell you what petrol COSTS here :
Firstly, like in SA there are two types : Super and Special - Most normal cars use Special - Super is reserved for those high performance cars like Lamborghinis, Ferrarris etc - out of our league for the moment .....

So, the prices for Special Petrol are : (approximately and as recent as possible!!)
Dh 1-04 per litre (R2-10) The price in SA is R5-25 per litre
Dh 4-75 per gallon (R9-50) The price in SA is R23-00 per gallon

Doesn't it just make you wanna weep??

1 comment:

SAfrican said...

Damn - that was not nice - the poor safricans are suffering I tell you - suffering.

Ek het geweet daar moes een 'n rede wees waarom ons hier bly ... dis nou behalwe die lekker sonskyn, braaivleis en bier.