Saturday, 18 August 2007

What makes Zambian drivers so BAD!

Today I had a serious sense of humour failure - you could even refer to it as a dose of road rage I suppose!

Now I am a reasonable person and a considerate road user. I value my car, my life and the life of other road users so it makes me so MAD when I have to deal with road hogs and idiots every time I leave my driveway and venture forth into the madness that is called 'Driving in Zambia'! Today was a classic example of the selfish, thoughtless and inconsiderate behaviour of Mr Johnny Average on the Zambian roads that sent my blood pressure through the roof with my anger reaching about 8 on the Richter scale.

Coming back into Ndola (on the main through road) after a pleasant morning spent at the stables, the girl child and I were brought to a sudden and grinding halt at the small intersection entering the main road by the service station by a mini bus taxi pulling halfway across the road with a squealing of tyres and a smoking of brakes to stop and block the traffic to allow a procession of vehicles proceeding to the cemetery access. Although extremely annoying this is fairly normal practise in Zambia and while letting forth a few expletives, I came to a resigned halt to wait for the road to clear. A long que soon built up behind us and as the last car turned into the road and I began to move forward slowly, low and behold - another car pulled around on my left (we drive on the LEFT in Zambia!) and started to overtake by pushing past me and trying to force me to stop and let him through! Unfortunately the mini bus was still blocking half the road and I really had nowhere to go but straight or hit either the car illegally on my left or the min bus illegally stopped in the middle of the road!

I'm afraid I lost it completely. I swore like a trouper, I put my hand on the hooter and I continued to drive straight ahead forcing the car off the road and giving the mini bus driver more to think about than he had bargained for! For a moment I imagined I was driving a bulldozer and visions of pushing them all out of my way floated across my mind as the girl child shouted 'Mum!' in surprise and horror and the mini bus driver revved and wheelied forward. I have no idea what the car driver did as I watched him swerve to the side and almost fall into the ditch - a feeling of pure hatred raging through me!

What a wonderful feeling of triumph surged through me! Hah - take that you bastards! Don't MESS with ME you swine! The feeling lasted but a few moments before I came to my senses and thought about the possible outcome of my loss of control could have been. Road rage is a terrible thing to experience and, no matter what the provocation, is NEVER the answer.

So I am sorry I lost it but.... why can't drivers on the road just take a little time to think about other road users? Why do they assume that their needs on the road are greater than everyone elses? And why, oh why, does the licencing department give these morons licences without even the pretence of undertaking a driving test?


Magdalen Islands said...

Road rage is a definite killer. I'm sort of lay back personality and just say to myself that they have a more important need than I have at the moment. Fortunately it doesn't happen all that often on our quiet country roads. I sympathize with you Jayne.

Keith Hillman said...

That's right. You show them that they can't mess with Jayne! (mental note - keep well clear of her car next time she comes to the UK)

Jayne :) said...

It was but a brief moment of glory but, I'm ashamed to say, VERY satisfying at the time!

Not to worry Keith, in the UK these situations don't seem to happen - at least not to us when we've driven there. Mostly we find other drivers fairly courteous and mindful of the rules of the road. I too am normally very laid back when I drive - just sometimes it all gets too much - it's the BAD MANNERS that get to me the most I think!

Schrödinger's Cat said...

great story Jayne!

I'm adding to your red dots in California...

nice site... I've added you to my blogroll.

Marja said...

Love your site too. You are added to my side as well.
I See the road behaviour is not much different from here.
Heard that you have other bad road users. We had a guest from Zambia last year at our home.He told me that the reserves in Zambia are as big as the south island of new zealand.
He often had to drive through them
and told me that herds of sometimes 60 elephants crossing the road. i loved his stories.

J Morgetron said...

We have a different meaning for the word hooter in America. LOL.

BuggyDE said...

Go MOM!!! :)

Jayne :) said...

Thanks Son - the support is much appreciated! LOL

And in America a hooter is..........? :)

Rebicmel said...

Girl I hear your pain!!! That is why I reside in small towns. The city was horrible for this kind of driving and when I found myself wanting to hunt them down and run them over I knew a change was in order.

Ambre said...

I don't believe a WORD of this Jayne! Is this the Jayne that tries her bestEST to keep Ms. Crystal grounded when she throws her hissy fits?

I'm sorry, I just may have been forever damaged emotionally from this.

Um, did you at least give him the FINGER!


Jayne :) said...

An arrestable offence in Zambia I'm afraid - wheras running people off the road is acceptable so long as it isn't ACTUALLY a policeman - lol.

Shall I ever live this down?

jadey said...

Good Grief Miss Jayne I wouldn't mess with you wouldn't want you to sound that hooter on me. That is okay we all have our roadrage moments just breathe it will be okay. Just wanted to also let you know that I have a new poem on helium as well as on my blog please check it out.

Marja said...

Hi, I am back again to tag you. I invite you to this game and ask you to write 8 things about yourself. If you feel like it click my name and check out the rules.