Sunday, May 18, 2008

Obeying Traffic Lights

TV stations have been airing, for a few days now I think, an infomercial about obeying traffic lights in Beirut, or wherever they are available in the country. At first, I thought Lebanon had to be the ONLY country in the world where the city "advertises" the virtues of obeying traffic lights. But I was wrong. So does Hong Kong, and there may be others.
Oh poo. How utterly disappointing.

Anyway. Check the HK clip and compare. If you haven't yet seen our little pearl of civil advertisement, this is how it goes. A car is at a totally empty crossroad (not an uncommon sight as of recently), waiting for a red light to turn green (an uncommon sight as of, I don't know, the birth of traffic lights). Another car approaches it from behind, and the driver starts honking and yelling at the top of his lungs for the car in front of him to get going. A highly civil and respectful figure/policeman then appears, approaches the honking driver, and explains to him politetly how it is best to obey the lights and respect traffic laws, for his own and everybody else's sake. And the formerly-abusive-suddenly-model-motorist to promptly comply while, of course, nodding in agreement. An inspirational ad if I ever saw one.

The Honk Kong ad, on the other hand, is more like, obey the goddamn traffic light, you cow, or kiss your driver's license and the skin on your butt cheeks goodbye.

To my eyes, here's the bottom line. In Hong Kong, people have to be threatened with pretty hefty fines to obey the law. In Lebanon, there is no need for such disrespectful, inhumane postures. Just tell us, "bel zo2", what we need to do and we'll do it. We, the Lebanonese, as some like to call us, are civilized. We understand. And please, no fines necessary at all! Because for one, we don't believe in the philosophy of punishment, and two, we wouldn't want you to look bad begging for petty cash and not getting any. Walla anything for you ya watan, bass the situation is a bit difficult you know and the doe is not flowing. Yalla maybe next time.

Habibi.

How many eons do those Hongkongers need to reach our level of civility and communication? Many. I say we start counting, and maybe we'll be done by the time our model leaders come back from Doha, to bless us with even more wisdom and sense of civic duty than we already have.

Wou tosba7o 3ala alf kheir.

3 Comments:

Blogger Joumana said...

I need lessons in sarcasm. I can't tell where it begins and ends!

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Delirious said...

In this post?

Endless :D

12:03 PM  
Blogger Azza said...

akkkhhhh im so happy you're back!

7:22 AM  

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