Girl on a (dangerous) Trail – roads safety…
Before I went to Georgia, I’d thought that I’d seen everything on the roads. There were roads in Mexico, especially those in Mexico City, provided me adrenaline comparable to bungee jumping. There were no rules, except for one – parking ban, which, as a matter of fact, didn’t improve my situation.
It was hard, even today I still remember these dilemmas before going through pedestrian crossing, cutting 7-lane, busy road. To make matters worse, I felt constant uncertainty there, whether a driver, driving a 7th right lane, would begin to make a sudden turning left without warning.
The entertainment comparable to watching a good psychological thriller was watching roundabouts during rush hours. I was impressed by drivers’ courage who were driving against the current and those driving with the current, that was really good performance.
And how about with the police, the guarantor of the road safety… Everybody knows that Mexico City is overcrowded and not always safe. Hence, the logic of the police is to use the sound signals normally during patrols and turn them off to intervene, so that they do not scare the criminals. As long as it’s logical for the crime prevention, for the pedestrian it’s not.
I have to admit, driving a car in Mexico is an art. First of all, it requires major psychological skills, behavioral reflex, the ability to read body movements and gestures, possess relevant interpersonal skills and finally the so called “road assertiveness” must be mastered there.
The roads in Vietnam are a separate subject for the book, but I’ve described these issues in a modest post (you can find it here). It would seem that the situation here is better than in Mexico, because there’re mainly scooters on the roads. But believe me, even sitting on the edge of a plane before skydiving doesn’t give such adrenaline like a change of light for the red in the middle of a pedestrian crossing on the busy artery in Saigon.
After all these adventures, I thought that the “driving culture” in Georgia won’t differ significantly from the European standard, but I was very wrong.
While crossing the road in this country, on the basis of previous experience, it was no longer an impression for me, but traffic observation from the back seat of so called “marshrutka” was a truly spiritual experience.
But maybe I’ll start from the beginning. Marshrutkas are popular means of communication in Georgia.
Cars, transporting people often belong to private individuals, which unfortunately affects their technical condition. The basic principle in Georgia for the choice of the means of transport is to assess the quality of the windscreen window. If it’s broken, you should look for another means of transport. But the problem is when we get into the car, where it turns out that a cautious driver covered the windscreen.
In this situation, all we have to do is pray with the driver. Let me put it this way, praying before driving is a ceremony in Georgia. Cars are equipped with all kinds of rosaries and pictures. WIthout a prayer, you can’t move. Of course this activity is repeated on the road mainly before and after overtaking…
In addition, there’s another element in Georgia that I havn’t met in any of the previous countries. The popular means of transport are Japanese cars that are much cheaper. Of course, I must admit that Japanese production cars are valued for quality but they have one basic flaw – for the God’s sake, the steering wheel is on the right!
At the first overtaking we lead our strenuous intentions towards the altar made by the driver, and belive me after the drive you can recite the entire apocalypse from your memory.
However, it’s not the end, the situation is further complicated by the herds of cows, horses and goats, which, without any discomfort, just walk the road.
To make matters worse, the areas in Georgia are imposing additional precautionary measures, as the gas pipes are right to buildings.
And how does it look like in practice? Take a look 😉