Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Top Ten Peeves- Travel Edition

Brazil is almost a one year old memory. Time flies fast. One of my fondest memories is the walkable city that was. All my needs be it gym, groceries or beach were all minutes away. All too often as I sit in miserable mind numbing traffic I can't help but miss not having to fill up gas, or stop and go on the interstate. I live in a city ranked one of the worst traffic cities in the country. People from LA pity me people! So do I have traffic peeves? You bet I do! Here are my top ten peeves, part II, in no particular order.

1. Stay within the line: I know there's a lot of emphasis these days to think outside the box and to not color within the lines. Here's my recommendation: With your coloring books take creative liberty, with your boxes, stand upon them while pondering wondrous things. But on the road please drive within those white striped dotted line thingies. There should be one on either side of you.

2. Your car may make you feel like its just you and the road, but I'm here too: Ever played Mario Brothers as he flees mushrooms and green turtles? Say hi to Maria (minus the cool Nintendo soundtrack) as people shift lanes without signaling, merge without checking, and so on until you get the feeling they're the green turtles in Mario 1, 2, and 3 with the sole mission to take you out. Unlike Mario blessed with three of them, this chica only got one life minus flower power!

3. Cell Phones: Most other peeves can be linked to this culprit. Studies show people driving with cell phones as bad as drunk drivers. My city is full of drunk drivers of the cell phone variety. Without fail those who weave through traffic as though knitting an imaginary quilt and they its needle, are on a phone. I dont know if headsets are safer but if you want to drive while chatting (which I dont blame you in our messy traffic) how about a blue tooth or other hands free thingie? Both hands on the wheels surely is a good idea? Unless you're talking about your brand new book deal or how you saw a penguin speak Yiddish for the first time..... I really have no patience for you driving and giggling as you swerve in and out of traffic one hand on the wheel, putting my life in jeopardy.

4. The Car is not your closet: I have seen people on the highway, THE HIGHWAY, changing their clothes, struggling with stockings, applying mascara, clipping their nails WHILE eating sandwiches, all while driving over 80 miles per hour! I suppose in many ways a car is like a closet what with the wall like structure enclosed around you and such, but here's a key difference: Unlike (most) closets, there are windows in a car so I can see you, and unlike (most) closets, cars ARE MOVING!!

5. Novels, magazines, newspapers, and other fine literature are best read in bed or other non moving positions: Moby Dick albeit absorbing, is better left at your nightstand. Word to the wise: If your eyes are on the words in the book, they're not on the road you are travelling on.

6. 4 way stop sign drama. My neighborhood is apparently filled with extremely polite drivers who don't wish to be the first to go. I will often be the last one to arrive at our four way suaree and yet no one moves. In an effort to be neighborly I usually fight off my intense grumpiness due to caffeine deprivation and cheerfully wave "no no, go ahead" to which they return the smile and wave back urging someone else to go instead. The first two times it was incredibly cute... three years later... not so much. The worst? When you decide to go and nudge your car forward just a tad as the other three all do the same at the same time which prompts everyone to quickly jerk their car backs and then start the process all over again.

7. Yellow Light Hesitators: Stop. Or go. Make a choice. Inevitably I'll be driving with the car ahead of me zooming merrily along. We approach a green light barely turning yellow. The car could go, or the car could stay, either would be okay at this point. Yet it drives and drives and then at the last minute slams the brakes so you have to slam YOUR brakes hoping not to hit it or get hit by the other cars driving behind you.

8. Traveling Disco Cars: Ever drive around the city at night to suddenly see two cars next to you each with bright pink, blue and yellow lights positioned all over the car? Glowing disco cars. It's not as distracting as it is frightening for sometimes you wonder if a cop with a flair for color is trailing you. Is that legal?

9. You parked there, you don't own it. Its a busy day, you find a guy walking to his car, his parking space is closest to the store. Eagerly you allow enough distance for him to leave and put the blinker on. You wait. And wait. And wait. Nothing. If you have seven children to buckle in I understand. I can be patient. But five minutes to back out of a parking space as a single guy with no bags? Seriously? I know you're parked there, but you don't pay rent there. Get in, get out.

10. Rubber Neckers: My city is absolutely befuddling in this aspect. I mean, we will slow down to watch a guy on the side of the road talk on his cell phone. We will screech to a halt if we see a cop giving a ticket on the other side of the road. Traffic here is congested half the time not because there is something in the road, but because we all have to stop and stare at what is happening on the side of the road. Voyeurism. it explains why Reality TV is so very popular. A friend once said never to look at a traffic accident as you drive because you might see something you'll never be able to erase from your mind's eye. Don't be a voyeur, keep on truckin!

Disclaimer: If you fit any of these criterion and feel a strange desire to blush or send me angry hate mail, before you do, please know its all in good fun. I've probably violated some of these peeves myself from time to time (though I assure you I have never struggled with stockings while behind the wheel). So please- don't be offended. As Nacho from Nacho Libre says so eloquently, "Sometimes I wear stretchy pants-Its for fun!" Sometimes when studying for exams I vent about peeves, Its for fun! No offense intended.

14 comments:

Bee Amma said...

he he. I am ALL OVER traffic peeves!
My majorest peev is when people actually BELIEVE the roadwork signs that they see. There are 2 varieties on this

1) It is late at night, You're on the M25 (Motorway that encircles london) A sign pops up....middle and outside lane closed ahead.
People immediately start filing into the slow lane. Traffic starts crawling. Beeamma looks at 2 empty lanes....and decides to floor it. Result? There were no closed roads up ahead.....a 2 mile traffic jam was just created cos of stupidity.

2)Actually this is not a variety on roadworks. It is when signs flash telling you to go at 60...and that is fine by me...but if you're speeding at 90mph, then SLAM your breaks to 60mph.....it creates a traffic jam my friend, and also makes me nearly plow into the back of you.

And another one

Mums turning around in their drivers seats and smacking their kids in the back. One hand on wheel, two eyes on children, life of self, kids and others in Gods hands.

Nauman said...

Hi there, I am new to Blogger and I just discovered your Blog and I must say that it is one of the best Blog that I ever came across. We also have problem with traffic in Islamabad. A decade ago there were not that many cars but now thanks to the lease-a-car facility provided by the banks most people own more than one. In a way it’s a good thing because it shows that Pakistan is growing economically but it has its side effects too because now there is so much traffic congestion and pollution in a city which used to be one of the greenest city in Pakistan. But now the Capital Development Authority is building some overhead bridges which hopefully will improve the traffic problem.

Muslim Wife said...

I *hate* the stop-signs in your neighborhood! Between the hills, 'watch for children' signs, and 4-way stops, it's insane!


But of course, it's all worth to come see you! : )

Bee Amma said...

Hey! I just finished reading "On beauty" It took me ages because of studying and stuff, but i finally managed it and lapped up every last word, and then had that sad empty feeling one gets after finishing a good book! I love love love the way she has written, there are so many subtle little family things she has woven in to the book, which either make me laugh out loud, or just plain make me a little sad and reflective.
Loved it! :D
More recommendations?? :)

btw did you ever read "the autograph man" i tried but really could not get into it. If yes, was it any good?

Bee Amma said...

ps i just checked out your book reviews! Have read a few books by Nick Hornby and enjoyed them all!
If you liked High Fidelity and haven't seen the movie (starring John Cusack and Jack Black) I would highly recommend it. It is one of my favourite movies....i'd like to think my reasonings are more than just drooling over cusack. tee hee!

wayfarer said...

I have never seen such bad driving as i have in atlanta. When i first got here, i was scared out of my mind. They just drift in and out of lines lol. And yeah, i've seen people here reading a lot as well as the usual makeup, shaving stuff. Truly bad drivers. NJ is not much better but then it's aggression more than just bad driving.

I like walkable cities too. In fact, in NJ that is one of my musts for a house. We found a great house but it wasn't a walkable neighborhood. America just doens't focus on that anymore. The book Geography of Nowhere explains why but it's sad to me cause walking is the way most people get their daily exercise. Atlanta is very unwalkable as is NJ. Denver was way way walkable. I used to ride my bike to work and sometimes walk. Okay i'm blabbing.

PS. I want to see you before i leave. Is it possible?

mezba said...

All of your peeves are mine as well, though I have to say after driving both in States and Canada, I find that city driving in Canada is much better than say Chicago or NYC. However roads are much much better in the States.

My pet peeve would be guys who are stopped at the lights and suddenly when it turns green decided they want to turn left and turn the blinker on. Meanwhile all along I am waiting for them to go straight. Hello! If you had to go left, signal early so we can shift over one lane.

Also those guys who drive the speed limit on the left lane on the highway. If you are not passing another car, move over!

mystic-soul said...

Great post. Go through this EVERYYYYYYYDAYYYYYYY !!!!.

Today ot took me 25 minutes to pass an accident because everybody decides to slow down to see what's going on..Helllo !!

Mia said...

and now you know why I prefer the mass transit! Although I can't front nothing beats the wind in your face, insects in your hair when you're riding your motorcycle.

youngmuslimah said...

I'm waiting to get my DL in a few months insha'Allah.

Try coming down to dubai..the traffic is PATHETIC. Sometimes you would move no faster than a bullock cart.

Aisha said...

Bee Amma, hahah at your traffic peeves! Do you love Nick Hornsby books too??/ I adore him!! I have to see the movie soon (high fidelity) I am SOOOO happy you liked ON Beauty. I felt kind of nervous that you might nto and I'd feel bad since I recommended it. I did read Autograph man but it wasn't that great. I read the whole thing with a wrinkled nose.... but i mean its well written... just not that good of a story line. I'd pass on it. As for other books. Hmm I'll have to hink about it. But check out my book reviews for the ones I read most recently :)

Nauman welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment! I have very very vague memories of traffic in Lahore and Islamabad and yes there is no comparison. Its all about persepective!

MW, hahahha yes, you can relate :) Its pretty insane!

Wayfarer, When do you leave????

Mezba, YES!!! The slow drivers in the wrong lanes drive me insane. In my city at least, they are ALWAYS on the phone... GRRRR.

Mystic... its awful :( and so unnecessary. such a sad statement of mankind that we must stop to look at tragedy in such fascination.

Mia, you ride??? A friend of ours has a bike and I've been thinking of asking for lessons... hmmm now i'mconvinced.. minus the bug factor... :)

YM, I thought you lived in Saudi? Can you get a DL in Dubai? I for some reasont hough it was banned for women.

youngmuslimah said...

Ash, yes you can get a DL anywhere in the world, save *majorly disappointed* in saudi.
I keep oscillating back n forth btw saudi and uae. I will be moving to dubai next month insha'Allah.

Muslim Wife said...

Dubai is more americanized than america. you can get anything there :-\

wayfarer said...

i'll be here every other week for may and gone completely in june...

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