Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Well That's Different #4

What I didn't mention about yesterday, though I have talked about it before, was the fraught nature of the drive to get there. The highways are modern, clear and efficient but the drivers here are certifiable.There isn't one who would keep his license for a month in England.
Overtaking on blind bends as coaches or trucks race towards you, driving for long distances on the wrong side of the road for no reason in particular, driving an inch behind someone else making the same insane manoevres and sounding the horn. These are troutine driving techniques. I am assured that they are as illegal and stupid here as they would be at home but it seems no one cares.
I hate riding in the front seat because even if your own driver is being autious you still have the terrifying spectacle of the ones coming the other way who aren't. There is the constant heart-stopping feeling that there is about to be a head-on collision.

An incident from this morning will illustrate.

There was a lorry, a big lorry, maybe a forty-footer that was reversing into a building site gate. It was big enough that it was blocking about three-quareters of the road width as it made the manoevre.
Now in England the cars on the blocked side would stop and wait and the cars on the other side would, perhaps, try to edge past the front slowly, maybe even mounting the pavement if they had to.

Here cars in both direction didn't even slow down, simply steered, at high speed round the front, bouncing up onto the pavement with utter disregard for either the pedestrians walking there or the traffic attempting the same trick from the other direction. As I watched at least a dozen cars narrowly missed each other in this frantic quest to save about a minute while the lorry completed its reversing.

My contract here says I can have a bicycle.
They can keep it. Nothing on earth would tempt me to use it. When even the pavements aren't safe, I'd have to be crazy to risk the roads.