Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Road Rage

I got road rage on Friday. I’m not typically one to be bothered by other road users, but on Friday I lost it. The previous weekend returning from Iasi when I had got stuck behind the Tour of Moldavia cycle race, was, looking back, the initial cause of Friday’s outburst. On that occasion we had been a long snaking line of traffic behind the peloton, with no opportunity of getting past the race itself since overtaking the cyclists was forbidden. Even I, about 30 cars behind the bikes, could see that. But, this didn’t stop cars jockeying for position, passing the queue and then getting stuck nearer the front. I was semi-amused and semi-bothered by this ridiculously macho behaviour. Getting further up the queue was obviously something that made these particular drivers feel better about their small penises, and so I (being comfortable with mine) felt able to merely ridicule these losers. But, then, on Friday, I had the same experience, and this time I couldn’t be so sanguine about it. The road between Sighisoara and Târgu Mures snakes up and over a number of hills, creating short switchback sections of climbs and descents. Obviously getting behind a lorry or two on these sections (particularly the uphill bits) can be a frustrating experience, and so it was. There were a number of slow moving vehicles all in a line, a couple of petrol tankers and another two trucks. It was obvious that the line of cars behind would all have to wait until they got to the front of the queue before making their dash past the bottleneck. It didn’t take genius to work it out, and the switchback actually made it possible to see what the situation was hundreds of metres ahead. But of course a number of drivers couldn’t possibly wait their turn and so started streaking up the outside of the car queue, beeping their horns to get back in when confronted with an oncoming car. It took all one’s effort to actually let them back in and not let them die in a ball of flame (but then the people coming the other way had done nothing wrong, so it seemed a little bit unfair on them – even if they would be giving up their lives in a noble cause). Then on one hairpin curve, climbing upwards at a crawl, while I watched vigilantly for some nutter to attempt to pass me in the other lane, someone did so on the inside. I couldn’t believe it. It was one of those cars with a “baby on board” sticker too, which always seems to be an excuse to behave doubly scummily (like wearing body armour). I beeped, shouted, swore, gave him both the universal sign of the wanker and the middle finger salute. In short, my normally relatively relaxed façade slipped away and showed me in my true colours. I hope Erika and Boglarka can put it out of their minds and think of me the way I like to think of myself. We’ll see. Oh, and guess where the car that did this was registered? And in fact all the cars driving like shitbags? Re-read this one, and now guess again. Yep, you’re quite right. I’m off there for a couple of days on Thursday, fortunately not by car, but I will certainly be very watchful while crossing roads.

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