keep going

Last week, as I was driving to work along the freeway, I noticed that the car behind me was driving quite close. So close, in fact, that there’s almost no doubt they were intentionally tailgating. I could even see the driver’s impassive face clearly in my rearview mirror.

Maybe they were in a hurry to go somewhere important, for something important, that they only had short notice about, or were late for some other reason, but they were tailgating on a freeway, and that is dangerous driving.

I was already driving at the speed limit, so I don’t know what they wanted me to do. Exceed the speed limit and tailgate the car in front of me? I glanced at the lanes beside me — the other driver was probably avoiding those because they weren’t any faster.

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kindness drive

I’m generally not an aggressive driver. I try to be aware of other vehicles around me, and always let others merge into my lane, provided it’s safe to do so. There’s a certain point on the freeway on the way to work where a lot of lane changing occurs. As we approach the CBD, there is a tributary of traffic flowing steadily in on the left, and then, up ahead, there are exiting lanes on the right and left (depending on which street of the CBD you’re headed to).

This means that there are almost always people in one of the righthand-side lanes that need to move all the way left, and people in one of the lefthand-side lanes who want to get across to the right. It’s at this juncture that I’m on high alert, and will generally leave enough space between me and the car in front to allow someone else to merge/pass by if needed.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you about a car accident. Continue reading

three percent

Back in April, on a day like any other except it really wasn’t, I had an interesting encounter. I’ve been meaning to write this post since then, so I figure this week’s as good as any.

I had decided to drive to work that day because I’d planned on visiting a couple of friends that night to collect some cheesecake. However, as luck would have it, there was so much traffic on my drive home. We moved along at a ridiculously slow pace.

By the time I got near home and filled up petrol, it was getting kind of late, so I decided on a whim that I should have dinner before going to visit my friends (my original plan had been to collect the cake and then go have dinner). And that’s how I ended up at Taco Bell.  Continue reading

rationalising my commute

Over the last few months, I’ve been driving to work more. I still catch the bus/train on most days, but if I know we’re going to have a late finish, or if the weather is bad, or if I leave the house a bit late, then I decide to drive. Also, if I’m bringing cake/pie/fudge/whatever, it’s a lot easier to transport by car than by bus.

There were a couple of weeks around Easter that I drove to work every day. It was great – I cut down my commute time significantly, I got to work earlier and had time to enjoy tea/coffee before I started, and I often got some reading or studying done before work too (while drinking said tea/coffee). I walked with colleagues to the carpark after work, and complained with them about the lack of spaces in the lower levels. I listened to music while I was on the road, and had a chance to energise in the morning and to wind down in the evening.

After a time, though, it didn’t feel right.  Continue reading

internal traffic noise

When I was a kid, I used to stand at the eastward-facing window of my parents’ room – where the cool breezes always came in, and also the side of the house with the best view – and I would just look out at the garden and the trees before me, and at the streets and roads behind that, and out at the hills and freeway beyond that. If I remember correctly, I tended to do this to cool down either in the afternoon when it was hottest, or in the evening when I could admire the moon and the stars.

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