About two years ago I started to drive again after an absence of not driving for fifteen years .I had driven all the time when we lived in the States . It was nothing to get the kids in the car and go for a three hour ride . That was a lot of fun . I never thought the day would come when I would actually HATE to drive , but I do now .Since I now drive here in Libya it has become a much dreaded task sad to say .The JOY is all gone . Now it is something that needs to be done only if necessary .Driving in the past was a effortless thing that brought freedom and happiness . Now it is the exact opposite .
Driving in the States ,compared to driving here, is like comparing riding a bike with training wheels to NASR Car racing .There in the States if you follow the rules then generally speaking things will go ok since the majority of the other drivers are all on the same page as you .Not so here in Libya. What is that saying from the movie called The Fight Club? The first rule of Fight Club is , there is NO Rule ! Then the second rule of Fight Club is , there is No Rule . Well , that goes with out saying here , too ! It is every driver for them selves and God help you if you don't have "you know what's of steel" ! Crash up derby has nothing over the average Libyan driver !
And now to mix it up some , they have started the long over due process of repaving roads , patching pot holes , and making completely new roads where none existed before .So you could conceivably be minding your own business driving along a well traveled road that you know , and find that half way down the road , preferably where there is no where to back up , turn around , and with out warning ,that the road is ... take your pick :
a. torn up and impassable
b. non existent any longer
c. closed off
d. ends into a deep crevasse that drops , oh anywhere , say fifty meters
f. all the above
If you should survive all that just to go get a loaf of bread , then you can count yourself lucky . Just imagine what awaits the unknowing driver unfamiliar with the local roads when out for that leisurely drive . What an oxymoron that sentence is !
But on the plus side of things , if you manage to survive all these things , and if they ever finish the roads , a very big IF , then it will pretty nice .They are also trying hard to clean the city of Tripoli and surrounding towns up. I am seeing dumpsters scattered all over now . A few on the beaches even . We even have some street signs here and there .More of an effort is being made to plant grass , flowers , and trees along the roads . So nice to see green things growing .These are all cosmetic true but that is a step in the right direction .
I am still keeping my fingers crossed that one day soon if a person becomes ill on a Friday needing medical attention at a government hospital , they will actually SEE a doctor AND be treated all on the same day ! There are free neighborhood clinics everywhere here but nothing in them . No equipment , no medicines , and a shortage of help even though 1 in 2 University graduates are doctors .Be nice if at least one of the two CT-scans in the public hospitals worked all the time , 24/7 , in stead of whenever ! Be nice if the hospitals were clean , sterilized all the time . I have noticed a larger effort in this area here lately . Be nice if there was a trauma hospital that was easily assessable to all in an emergency.There may be one already but I haven't heard about it so it must not be doing any good .
As long as I am making a wish list I'd like to see improvement :
in the public schools
in drug treatment centers
cancer which is very common here
diabetes and heart treatment
much needed improvement in the ARTS
more readily available public housing
practical job training
and the list is never ending I guess .So long have things been neglected that we are having to play a quick game of catch up . Well ,for now I guess we will have to be content with the roads .