Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Absolutely no logic

My car has headlamps that turn on automatically when you start the car. This means my lights are on even during the day. The reasoning behind this is that it's supposed to make you more visible, hence safer. This would be a wonderful thing if I weren't in Libya but unfortunately Libyans have some weird idea that when you use your headlights it wastes your car's battery. I'm not sure where they got this idea from.

They all think they have to be good Samaritans and tell me my lights are on. I get people hanging out their windows waving and shouting 'Your lights!!!!' They are constantly flashing their headlights at me or hold up their hands and flick their fingers to signal to me. God forbid I try to drive with my windows down because they think that's an invitation to pull up next to me and shout at me. I've even had police pull me over to tell me my lights are on.

I just don't get it... why is no one worried about the children bouncing around the car without car seats or seat belts? No one seems at all worried about cars that have their bumpers tied on with bits of twine. Why does no one seem worried about the stupid women who drive with their faces completely covered? How come I see no one waving them down?


  1. LOL, that just shows how caring Libyans really are ;-)

  2. LOL..I like this one!I absolutely loves your blog...I've been following it eversince I stumbled upon it the night my husband told me that we are moving to Tripoli this coming June. I lived in Houston for a good 20 years, and have been living in Jakarta Indonesia for the last 14 months, your blog kind of prepares me mentally to face our future life in Libya starting June. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and may Allah reward you for your patience helping others.

  3. Not to mention those who drive with small children in their laps.

  4. Hi,
    You are right. Daytime running lamps are a legal requirement in some countries and many countries are following suit. Road safety is almost laughed upon in Libya and the stats show it, nearly 3000 dead a year and increasing. People will spend 300/400 dinars on stupid toys or waste it on other things but consider it a waste on child safety seats which are in that price range. Regarding the Daytime running lamps here is an interesting article from Wiki: Day time running lamps


  5. "Libyans have some weird idea that when you use your headlights it wastes your car's battery."
    Drive into Egypt KT through the frontiers, and you'll notice that Egyptian drivers are using their small lights until it's really completely dark at night - I heard: to save their cars' battery strength.
    Intelligence may have a limit but stupidity always has no limits.

  6. I loved this, it reminded me of living in Egypt years ago and all the same things were true there that you mention now. My car lights weren't programed to be on all the time but I would drive with them on because I had read that it was indeed safer to do so. I had to give that up because of all the reaction I got. People were trying so hard to alert me that I began to feel like a traffic hazzard.

  7. Khadija thanks, your blog is a lot of fun
    Only in Libya one plus one equals none

    In Libya nothing will ever make sense
    Heads are tails & present is past tense

    Brag about themselves & their looks
    And about their unread brand new books
    Like restaurants with no chefs & cooks

    A lot of wasted lives & not much to do
    The World advanced A long time ago
    Libyans fell asleep & let the world go

    Libyans don’t compete in worlds events
    But sure are experts on building tents

    They’ll discuss any object with no hesitation
    Surprised? It comes from a comatose nation

    Libya, Libya, Libya, where are you?
    Or am I wasting time looking for Waldo

  8. some of the commont is nonsice, the idea behaind turning the light on when starting the engin is because lots of countries specially in Eourope have to drive through the tunnels which is really darck,so they need lights on in day time, while in Libya if you flash your head lights in day lights that is mean you carry someone who is had an accident and you carry him, her to hospital and people give you way!!!!! in your case people try to just let you know that you might unaware of your car lights on.

  9. I'm back. May I ask you a few questions about Libya? I did not see a contact email so please forgive me for leaving the questions here.

    My husband was offered a job in Libya and I've been trying to research but have been growing frustrated by the my inability to find first hand information. My main questions are:

    From what I've read, Libya seems to be a friendly place for US expats, do you think so?

    I am Christian, do you think that would cause issue or danger?

    Is it a good place to raise children?

    I homeschool my children, do you know if homeschooling is allowed in Libya?

    Thanks for your time :)

  10. Cheryl,,,

    Contact email appears on the side as a tab.

    Libya is a friendly place. Christianity is only a problem is you decide to proselytize. Homeschooling is allowed. Lots of kids in Libya - I think the average family has half a dozen. :)

  11. Thank you so much for your answers. You answered questions I couldn't find answers to in hours of searching. I guess I'm not looking in the right places.

    Half a dozen children? Beautiful! I've always yearned for a large family, maybe if we move this will encourage us to grow our family :)

  12. I guess every country has it's wiered marks! but using lights in day time would mean a signal.

    it means that you have an emergency and asknig people to give you the way, in your case people sees you driving normally so they are thinking that you might unaware of your car lights on.

    can you see a logic now?

  13. Hassen with all due respects YOUR comment is a load of nonsense!

    Cheryl - sorry for butting in :) I'm just a newbie here in Libya so Khadija is probably better to listen to, but just have to give my 2 cents worth, IMHO Libya should be waaaaaaaaaaaaay down on your list of places to want to live. And as a once homeschooling mum - if you do come, bring everything with you for your HS because resources here are awful!

    Khadija, salaam *waves* we've had this problem too since last year! I swear if I was given money for every time someone told me my lights are on, I'd be rich!!!! They go out of their way to make it known - beeping, flashing, getting out of their cars, slowing down to open their windows etc etc etc! That's the only thing they see wrong about driving and cars in Libya! Everything else is 3aaady! Driving down the road the wrong way, reversing on a main road, overtaking on a bend, zig zagging in between traffic at God knows what speed, holding small kids in the driver seat AND driving down the road, reversing into you and crashing the front of your car because they don't know what mirrors are for, squeezing past you and scratching the side of your car and the list goes on! - they don't bat an eyelid, they don't beep their horn, they don't flash their lights, they don't apologise - they don't see it as wrong!!! We are literally a step away from death every time we get behind the wheel of a car here! There is no such thing as a nice relaxing drive in Libya!

    Bring in the NCT/MOT and forbid anyone under the age of 30 from driving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I keep telling my husband that he has the emergency brake on, thinking he left it on as an accident. He finally told me the other day, that if you lift it up just a tad, that the daytime running lights will go off, and he won't have the probelm you are experiencing. Just a thought.

  15. When we drive in Libya, I kept telling my husband that the emergency brake has been left on. He advised that if he lifts it up just a bit, so that the light goes on the dashboard, that the daytime running lights will go out, and he won't have the problem you are experiencing. Just a thought. I would think that this might cause problems, but he doesn't think so, and knows alot more about cars than me.


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