So, just now, on my way to school (on a holiday, no less – I hate teaching writing classes). I kinda caused an accident. But not really. Hold that thought though, because I’m gonna come back to it.
Why did he get angry, when it was so obviously his fault? Well, because he didn’t think it was. “That other guy saw me pulling out. He should have slowed down and let me in.” “Um, Grandpa. That’s not really how right of way works. You are supposed to wait until there’s enough time for you to pull out so no one really has to slow down.” I remember thinking how crazy my grandpa was, and how I needed to figure out a way for me to be behind the wheel for the rest of the visit.
Why do I tell you this story? Well, because now I feel a little guilty. Living in a lot of different places over my life, I like to think that I am open to new and different cultures. I think I realize now, that that’s probably how my grandpa always drove, because that’s how people used to drive in Ireland. Why to I think this now? Well, because that’s how people drive in Indonesia. Always.
Another thing about Indonesian drivers of all kinds, motor and car, is that they do not look for traffic when merging. They will pull right out into the street. It’s your job to pay attention and get out of their way. Just like my grandpa. I kinda wonder how people who move to the US adapt to the differences in something as subtle as driving. My grandpa obviously didn’t really adapt very well. However, I never see more than 2 people riding on a motorcycle in the States, so that’s one thing that people seem to do without rather quickly.
At first, I had no idea what happened. I continued to pull into the driveway, and just stopped and threw my kickstand. I wanted to know if he was OK. He started yelling at me that it was my fault. I look over at my bike, and my directional was still blinking. Excuse me? No way! You are not blaming this on me! I was in the correct spot to turn right. He had gone into the oncoming lane of traffic to try and pass me. Horray of all horrays, there were like 6 people standing around, and they ALL came to my defense, saying that he was stupid for trying to go around me on the right instead of the left, pointing to my still flashing bike, telling me it was OK, and to just get on my bike and go. Don’t have to tell me twice.
Now, this is kinda similar to my accident, except I had a bus cut me off from the right lane of a double road, trying to make a left. And it was raining, and he didn’t slow down, and he didn’t use his signal. The women standing around came to my rescue that day too. :D
So, a nice blog post about traffic? My motorcycle? I don’t know…it seemed relevant at the time, and probably a good reason/excuse to put off that grading that I mentioned. Ah, procrastination.