March 5, 2010 Driving in my mind
Sometimes my mind wanders about the most insignificant things. When Alan and I were first married he would ask me what I was thinking about. My usual answer was “nothing.” Being newly wed, this could be frustrating, but it really was just non-sense. One time I decided to tell him. It was something like, “that thing we passed reminded me of when I was a kid, and that got me thinking about a time when I was ten, and that reminded me of the first time I ….” He said he would never doubt me again when my answer was nothing.
So I am going to share with you one of my nothing moments. I was picking up some dinner for the kids last night. We live in a small town that has little traffic, but I noticed all the cars going down one particular road. (Rush hour). It made we think about all the unspoken rules of driving from the different places we live.
In Kentucky, if you were driving down a road and the car in front of you was going to turn left they would use their blinker. For whatever reason, all the cars following that car turning would also turn on their blinkers even if they were not going to turn. I guess it was a cutesy to warn following drivers that someone ahead was slowing down to turn.
The most frustrating one for me were the Memphis drivers. While sitting at a stop light the drivers would slowly scoot up. The light wasn’t changing, but any slight movement forward meant that everyone would scoot up a little. When the light actually did turn green, the cars would take forever to get going because they were so tightly packed together like a bunch of sardines.
In the rural part of North Carolina there was another odd unspoken driving rule. Normally at a stop sign whoever is there first goes first. If two cars arrive at the same time, then the car on the right goes first, right? In this part of North Carolina there was another rule. If you are turning, even though you were at the stop sign first, you would always wait to let the person going straight go first. Even if you clearly were at the stop sign first. Being in a slow-paced rural area this was okay, but occasionally it was a pain. If there was a busy intersection and I would want to turn I would have to wait until there were no other cars, because they had the right of way because they were going straight.
I thought about all this on my short three-minute drive home. I know, it’s silly. I didn’t even think about the crazy driving in other countries I’ve been to. I love life, and watching people and seeing how different we are, but at the same time how much we are the same.