Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Topic: Driving (or not)

I'm a little late here, but it's still Tuesday, and I'm back online! Hurrah! (Send me some more Tuesday Topics, please.)

Here is a topic that came in while I was gone:
After 12 years of living in the Middle East I finally double parked my car on the outer lane of a busy street for the FIRST TIME. I turned on my hazard lights before I ran into the store. Just like everyone else does! I said a prayer for my car, that it wouldn't get hit by oncoming traffic, and I also repented for all the times I've judged drivers for doing that! Maybe I'm finally getting contextualized here!

On a serious note, what is traffic like where you live and how do you feel about driving? Or if you don't drive how do you feel about that?

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at fylliska@gmail.com. Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


  1. Oh, goodness. Driving. They are sooooo pedantic about getting a driving licence in England. I do drive here, but it took me FIVE tries to pass my road test!!!! Seriously. Getting my licence in the UK was one of the hardest things I've ever done!

    We don't own a car here, so I don't have to drive very much. Most everything is within walking distance, which is really nice. I don't mind driving around the city where we live, but to drive in some place like London terrifies me!

    1. Oh my! 5 times to pass the tests! That's worse than the state of California, where my Salvadoran husband took 3 times...

      We walk a lot too.

  2. We don't drive here, as we don't have a car. The way they drive here kind of makes us glad we never bought a car. Driving is a hassle, parking is a hassle, repairs are a hassle! Sometimes it would be nice, but we are pretty content without a car!

  3. I decided I would never drive here (Ecuador) during my very first team meeting and the discussion was what to do in case of an accident. The missionaries were advised to leave the country. Do not stop, do not get out, do not wait for the police, do not even go back and get your family. Just leave the country as fast as possible.

    If we were not able to leave we were supposed to cut ourselves very deeply so that we would be taken to the hospital instead of jail.

    Those rules have changed a bit since then, but they have stuck with me and made me scared to death to drive. Besides that I think driving on hairpin mountain passes in fog as thick as mud and passing busses must require a kind of crazy I have yet to find.

    All that to say- no way am I driving here! Besides I live in a city where public transportation is amazing and cheap.

    I do have a funny story though. I work at a coffee shop that has a balcony that overlooks a public square. That square contains the only two horizontal parking spots in the entire city. One day I watched as a car pulled behind the two cars parked there and parked parallel so that the cars were trapped. After a while the cars' owners became frustrated when they could not leave and everyone began to holler about how to find the owner of the car trapping theirs.

    Eventually the two men became irate and called the cops who came out and put a boot on the third car (a boot is a metal wheel trap that disables the car from moving). The two owners began to scream at the cop who walked away.

    About 15 minutes later the owner of the third car arrived to see a crowd of people standing around waiting to see what happened (including me).

    What happened was that the third man could go no where because of the boot and everyone was trapped until this man went to the bank and paid a fine and then delivered his receipt to the traffic cop who finally came and removed the boot.

    It was chaotic and hilarious. And yet another reason to never drive here.

    1. That is funny! Here, if a car is in the way, people kick it to make the alarm go off.

      We don't have a car. I don't drive here, and not only that, I don't drive at all. I never got a driver's license, even before moving overseas. I feel so trapped in the states, where everyone else can just zip around to wherever they want to go.

      I like public transportation.

    2. Becka, that story beats anything I've ever seen here. :-)

  4. Becka - that's classic!!! :-D

    We drive... I drive. Our first term, I took the kids in taxis when i needed to get somewhere and that was terrifying and a huge difficult thing back when i only had 4. can you imagine if i tried to do it with 8? yikes! so a car was a necessity for our family, and i had to learn to drive the traffic.

    definitely taught me a lot about prayer in the moment! and makes it challenging to drive when we return to the states. i'm always waiting for someone to do something unexpected and for the most part, they don't.

    i did recently drive in scotland and didn't find that to be too bad - maybe because we drive on all sides of the road in niger so i wasn't in the habit of only driving on the right like i would have been coming straight from the states.

  5. I force myself to drive here, because otherwise I would shrivel up and die...but I feel like I am taking my life in my hands every time I do...just today I came around a curve on the mountain to see a mack truck in my lane coming right at me...he moved and and I moved and my heart went back to normal rhythm.

  6. Driving here in Costa Rica is pretty crazy. I actually barely drove at all the first year that we owned a car here; this is truly an area God has grown me in! Now, five years into living here, I do drive often (well, when our car isn't in the shop; we're going on four months of it being in the shop right now). I have gotten used to maneuvering my way through super narrow streets filled with cars, people, bikes, dogs, chickens, cows, huge trucks carrying sugar cane, etc. In our rural mountain town, I've also learned to drive up and down slopes that seemed impossible to manage before and have gotten used to one lane bridges where you can't see if there is on-coming traffic until you are actually on a bridge. Every drive is an adventure!

  7. like for many of you, public transportation in the Philippines is cheap and readily available. so we don't own a vehicle, and i don't drive. most days it's totally okay with me. but some days i crave the anonymity and privacy of my own vehicle. i do have to admit though that some of my most memorable interactions are in public transit situations!