Saturday, November 3, 2012

traffic rant 143

I have ranted about traffic only one hundred and forty-two times before. Really. I keep tallies like that.*

On our drive home from a friend's house today, Claire said, "Mama, why did you say, 'Come on, man?'" Because another car sped ahead to cut me at the turn, that's why. I said, "Because people here don't know how to drive." That isn't what I should have said. So I ammended it to say that some people here don't know how to drive well. That kind of statement can be pasted over any road in the world. It's safe enough to back out of and it's the kind of statement that politicians make. That some politicians make.

But think about any road in the world. In Kuwait there are drivers who may be from any road in the world. And while cultures may clash in governmental or educational policies, you do not want them clashing at 120kmh on the 30.** More likely they clash at 70kmh and 135kmh, but that was Traffic Rant 92. Traffic Rant 143 is less rant and more of a statement: I think most drivers on the roads here in Kuwait drive as they did on their roads at home. From all over the world. Where stoplights and turn signals and speed limits and passing and seatbelts and turn lanes may mean something else or nothing at all. I once heard Dave Barry say the same about Miami traffic and when talk here turns to traffic, a few friends have also found the We Drive Like We Did At Home theory a calm explanation of the Casual Merge.***

*I don't really keep tallies like that. Should I start?
**I think in kilometers here. The 30 and 40 are main highways here.
***The Casual Merge is a car that drifts across its lane to yours, with no turn signal warning and perhaps no apparent reason and certainly with no urgency to complete the manuever. Despite its name, the Casual Merge does not feel casual at high speeds.


Steve said...

I never really thought about traffic in Kuwait. Sounds like any big city.

I don't make generalizations or assumptions, but I always assumed you people drove camels over there. :P

jsmarslender said...

I just might make my way to a camel race this year too : )