Driving in South Africa is no easy task. It seems as though everyone has whole heartedly embraced the idea of "first come, first serve"... well in a manner of speaking anyway. I have been getting a lot of driving practice since I've been here, most often I am driving by myself, as the rest of my family seems to shrink into a nervous ball of... er... nerves. Though why this is I cannot say, as I drive perfectly adequately. Mostly.
Today I drove from Nan's house to Bryanston to meet Kyle and Sarah for dinner. The fastest route involved going along the highway. Fantastic. Not only have I never driven on a South African highway, but I have never driven on ANY highway alone! Now who's the nervous ball of nerves.
"Be cool, be calm," I told myself as I made my way towards the highway. At this point I would just like to thank the lady who altered my stress levels. By the way, no, it actually isn't helpful when you drive just slightly behind me, then slightly next to me, then slightly behind me, then slightly next to me (you get the picture) for the few MILES I am trying to move into that lane. It also doesn't help when you hoot wildly and shoot past me when I do decide I have had enough and begin changing lanes. Thank you again, and don't worry about the small tree I nearly killed as I swerved out of your way.
The drive was, for the most part, uneventful. I stuck to the speed limit on the highway, which meant of course that I was the slowest car there, I indicated when I changed lanes - another not so regular occurrence on the highway, and I tried to think positive thoughts when the taxis drove near me.
Finally the end was in sight, I took the turn off and began slowing down to stop at the very RED robots. To my surprise, a very fancy car came zooming past me, straight through the RED robots. I did a double take; oh, actually Ariel, the robots are GREEN. Right, so stay calm, stay calm *panic panic panic!* just pull off like you meant to do that. Oh but what's this, no, as it turns out, you can't pull off in 4th. So there I was, stalled on the turn off of a very busy intersection. Needless to say I was by then a nervous ball of frayed nerves.
This story has a happy ending though. I managed to turn the car back on, and drive off nonchalantly, as there were no other cars behind me. Though what the queues of traffic, stopped across from me, thought... I don't even want to know.