I forgot how terrible the traffic is to get out of the aiport. I think it took 15-20 minutes just to get onto the main road. There's a lot of construction in the area, which makes things worse. While the ever-present dust was expected, the persistent horn honking was also lost to memory. Something to get used to since everyone uses their horn. Lucikly, the hotel driver wasn't one of them. The driver taking us to work and on our weekend excursions also isn't a heavy horn user. But he is a pretty aggressive driver, which comes after 14 years of driving I guess.
The traffic going to a shopping mall on Saturday was quite heavy, but it allowed us to have a glimpse of the city. We've been impounded in our walled apartment/hotel complex that such a venture out is welcomed. Our compound has one entry/exit point, which is a number of security guards are stationed. They use a mirror to look under every car. The hood and trunk is opened for inspection, along with the doors of the car so that a dog can sniff the interior. If everything is OK, a round concrete post is lowered so that we can pass. I appreciate the security, but I dislike being imprisoned. I miss having an apartment and being able to walk to restaurants, shops and buy fresh produce from the local vendors.
After just one dinner in the hotel, I've been ensuring our schedules are arranged so that we can dine outside. It's a bit tough when most restaurants don't serve dinner until 7 or 7:30. We've decided we would rather work late during the week and get a late start on the weekends to be able to remain outside the walls a little longer and experience life as it should be lived.