Enter The Black Heart Of The Concrete Forest.

I was being driven on the southern approach to the Blackwall tunnel, when I realised that here was the black heart of the concrete forest.

The stink of petrol fumes, Magic 105.4 on the car radio, housing estates beside industrial ones, aggressive drivers, sooty grime and nary a green thing in sight. The nadir of our civilisation: the dull insolence of thoughtless greed, petrified in concrete.

Further on, we viewed two car drivers arguing. Neither could hear the other; they were still motoring. They were gesticulating, mouthing challenges. Neither was going to pull over and have it out; that would have meant delay. It looked for all the world like two apes shrieking silently in ritual combat.

To complete the experience, we should have stopped off at a drive-in McDonalds, ordered a burger with extra fries, and eaten it in the car. I’ve read that the pace of development in Saudi Arabia has driven the local Arabs mad; from tribal to post-industrial in thirty years.

Maybe that’s why they’re so angry; they can see what they’re going to lose.