Sunday, January 20, 2013

Drifting in Kuwait

Photo:  Desert Girl

Adrenalin Junkies Demand Place To Practice ‘Drifting’
Arab Times, 20 January 2013

Give us ‘playground’: More than twenty youths gathered in an open area at Salmi performing stunts with their cars and blocked the Salmi Road to traffic for almost 60 minutes, reports Al-Anba daily. As the police questioned the youths, they blamed the government for not providing special grounds away from the residential areas to practice their favorite sport.
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I completely agree with the junkies.  Drifting is going on around Kuwait and it is in public areas where people might get hurt.  Give them a place, regulate it, and make safety awareness mandatory!  

Many people in Kuwait don't see what goes on if you're not visiting the areas where the drifting takes place.     Its been going on in Kuwait for as long as I remember (since I arrived here in 1996 and probably before); in Kabd, Salmi, Wafra - places outside of the city and often late at night.  You can hear the engines gunning from long distances away; and in the morning, you can see the evidence on the roads; shredded tires and rubber marks on the pavement.  The police in these areas turn a blind eye ("boys will be boys" mentality -  that is, of course, until someone gets seriously injured).  Drifters are going to do it whether it is legal or not.  Why not give them a place?

Bu Merdas has a farm in Kabd and he regularly calls the police as people drift in the co-op parking lot.  People who want to get in and buy food often can't.

Now as it becomes more mainstream, drifting is taking place during the day.  In Wafra on a Friday afternoon in front of the mosque, thousands of people line up to watch cars drifting.  While I was there, the Imam actually got on the microphone and asked them to stop (they didn't).  (Personally, I found it very disrespectful.  Some people were even laughing.)

View from the parking lot of the chabra (veg market)


American Girl said...

Behind our house is a huge parking lot which is used for drifting on the weekends. I love to watch through the window, but small children like to stand nearby and watch. There's not only the danger of the driver losing control of the vehicle, but also tire blow outs, rims flying off, and even a door falling off as I witnessed a few weeks back.

Personally, I think it's fun to watch but very dangerous to perform. Though skill is certainly required, much of it is luck. I would love to do a documentary on the Saudi drifters who just happen to be in my neck of the woods every weekend :)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree DG. This could be big business for someone, especially if they had a race track as well! Have a grandstand and sell tickets, a food outlet etc There are so many youngsters in this country that want to show off their cars/ driving skills.If they charged competitors a fee to race and gave prizes I,m sure it would go down well. Flood light the area and you have somewhere for them to go at night instead of terrifying other road users and keeping people awake :-) Lxx

Anonymous said...

Response to 11:55 AM: I want to write an article covering prostitution in Kuwait. I would go to extreme to protect the identity of the women I interview, but I and I think most of the GCC would like to understand why women who are from the GCC like Kuwait turn to a life of prostitution. It would be entitled, "My life as a prostitute, and I am Kuwaiti". I read a blog about the Volume Cafe in Salmiya where all the prostitutes flag down the cars in broad daylight and one commenter stated that some of the women were Kuwaiti. Not so much interested in viewing a documentary on this subject. I would like to understand her plight and what her experiences are working in the sex trade in Kuwait.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 4:43 - what are you on about? This isn't a post about prostitution - it's about car drifting. I don't get it.

Anonymous 1:43. I agree. There used to be a quarter-mile track here but like everything else in Kuwait it failed (and they closed it down) because of corruption and conflict at the upper levels. The lower levels of the ladder suffer at the expense of the greed of others. F-ing stupid and pathetic.

It isn't even about making money anymore. Most people would rather just cut off their nose to spite their face.