Given that I drive a Nissan Micra named Padda (frog, remember…) I’m not going to correct the typo in the title…. I’ve driven beyond the first 1000 miles and then stopped counting because I had someone else drive my car for half of the trip to the Ardennes. I’ve gotten more confident behind the wheel and I love my car. Seriously, I want to hug it, but it’s not that small. Padda got his first serious damage, a lady in a red Twingo had some trouble parking next to him. Her insurance is supposed to pay for the repairs, so I wait, but the side damage doesn’t influence the functionality at all. After a wash I still have red Twingo paint on my car. (And turns out it’s worse than I thought..)
I decided early on to just relax while driving and I am noticing that I am more and more relaxed while doing so. Traffic jam? No problem. Hopefully there’s something good on the radio. Stressing out about it is not going to make it go faster. Sometimes I’m still a bit nervous, but I remind myself to just relax. And it works, unless TDH is sitting next to me, going on about something I did 5 minutes ago. (For the time being he’s driving when we have to go anywhere together, being lectured about something I did or did not a kilometre earlier is not going to improve my driving skills but does contribute to my stress levels).
Some people do make me mad though.
Dear impatient driver,
Apparently I irritate you very much by, I don’t know, not doing things as fast as you (think you) do them Apparently you were a perfect driver right from the moment you got your licence. In your mind, at least. In your mind you apparently also have the right to have an opinion about those around you. Based on the colour of your hair, you’ve had about my entire life at least to gain experience on the road. Based on your fairly new Ford, Audi, Volvo or BMW you’re also doing fairly well for yourself at that job that requires that neatly ironed shirt. I find it funny how you’re very often male. Not sure how you can be a good driver if you have that little control over your Y chromosome’s influence, you know. I sometimes wonder if you just hate small cars.
Just because I slow down for a few seconds to make sure the truck in the lane next to me doesn’t slam in to me does not give you a reason to become impatient, it gives you a reason to watch where you’re going.
If you’re merging in behind me, you’re supposed to start merging when the car fits in the gap, not hoot at me because I’m going too slow for you and now suddenly your Merc is too close to my bumper for your comfort. I’m going slow because the three cars in front of me are going equally slow. If you hit me, it’s your fault. Simple as that.
Do not cut in line, do not use on ramps and off ramps to cut in front of traffic jams. You don’t have to show off having a small wee wee like that. I know your ego is big, but get over it. Also, don’t overtake me when I’m accellerating a bit slower than your car can, it’s an 80hp Micra. If you want to go faster, fine, stay in the left lane for a bit, but please don’t cut in front of me again because, well, I was accelerating and am now going a bit faster than when you were still behind me.
Get the hell off my tail. Tailgating will not make me go faster, it will just make you liable in case of accident. Tailgating makes me consider going even slower… Yes, I know your car packs more horsepower than 80hp Padda, but that does not give you more ownership of the road and the same speed limit applies to you. I’m not intimidated by the logo on your car’s nose.
Don’t hoot if I take one second to realise the light is green. We all have slow moments. Not a reason to overtake me either, especially not if I have to overtake you then.
Also, when I keep some distance from a slow car in front of me because there’s no gap in the left lane so I can overtake, it does not mean I’m the slow car. Thanks for using my prospective gap to overtake me, and good luck with the slow car. Now if you don’t mind, there’s another gap now, see you later.
And dear sir in the black Audi who got pissed when I wanted to park my car: if I brake and put my blinker on next to an empty spot, it means I intend to park. You can either wait patiently or calmly pass me. I actually wait a second before proceeding to give you the chance to pass while I gauge the distances. See, my car doesn’t park itself, and not everybody is super-quick when parallel parking. (I did it in one go, mind you, took me a few seconds!). Your aggressive hooting and then making a big drama out of overtaking me was really uncalled for. It’s a residential street, people park, doesn’t matter if you like it or not. Get over it.
I can go on for a while, but you get the point. Look, I know I’m relatively inexperienced, but I’m doing my best here. My skills are improving every day, remember, and you too were in my position once. Regardless of me and my driving experience, you’re an asshole and you tell me how that’s improving!
Just chill out for a sec, will you? All that rage is probably bad for your heart anyway.
And to the person in the green Toyota Starlet: did you actually try to outrun me on the highway? Let’s just consider this for a moment. You must have forgotten that it’s a Starlet…