Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mark of the "Third World"??

Just a quick aside: a colleague of mine once remarked many years ago that one of the markers of a third-world country can be found along roadsides. It is claimed that so-called "third world" countries cannot reliably construct road curbsides poured as a single strip of concrete. Instead - mainly because of a lack of reliable workers or construction techniques/supervision, etc. - such countries must resort to using individual concrete blocks fitted together. I've seen these block type roadside curbs throughout Indonesia and the Middle East. Although Kuwait is far from being a "third world" country, I suspect the use of this form of curbside construction is caused primarily by the lack of skilled labor in the Arabian Gulf region. Or so I presume. Can anyone comment?


ness said...

i am from a third world country and our roads are in a sad sad way. worse than this in your picture.

Ivan said...

It's just a different building technique. One might conclude that USA is a third world country because you build wooden houses that are destroyed every time a hurricane passes, if one were so inclined. :)

From my experience, a certain way of determining whether you're in a third world country by looking at a street is the presence or absence of a pavement.

First world = there's a pavement
Second world or transition = there's a pavement, but it's full of parked cars
Third world = No pavement, people walk on the road