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Durban drivers

22 February 2013, 11:03
What the…?! What is it about this sleazy town that brings out the bottom dweller in drivers. The heat? The demographics? The Aghulhas Current? The beautiful women? The Poison? The spicy food? Nowhere else in the country do I experience this unique blend of spitefulness and poor skills.  Firstly – the stop-and-go at out-of-order robots just doesn’t apply here.

The correct procedure, apparently, is to ignore the putative stop and carry on going until a brave soul from the left or right starts pushing into the flow. Of course that means that those who have been drumming their steering wheels waiting to get their turn take full advantage until they too are physically blocked from doing so. Another favourite in the city by die see is rushing into intersections as the light turn red, effectively blocking all traffic movement. Sure that will get you there faster, moron.

This is followed, of course, by the straight-ahead stare, which doesn’t even giving one the impotent satisfaction of mouthing filth at the offender. 80km/h in the fast lane – no problem. 3 trucks abreast going uphill? Why not? And stop complaining about your minibus taxis. You know nothing about disregard for road sense until you have dared to drive the Zulu kingdom.

Our real special however, the thing which makes us so uniquely sociopathic, is speeding up when you see someone changing lanes or attempting to get into traffic flow, or turning across traffic flow. THAT is Durban. Not to mention the rage when such an attempt is thwarted by a swift response. The flashing lights, the waving fists, the high drama. I have seen drivers rather crash into others rather than allow them into a lane. For what? To get home 3 seconds earlier? And if I let someone into traffic, is there a wave, a flick of the hazard switch? More not than often. You don’t see this in Jo-burg.

Everyone is more of a hurry there, but you never wait more than a few seconds for someone to give you that half-second break to get into flow. Irritation if you don’t respond quickly, sure, but that’s fair in the town that makes all the money. Cape Town a bit different. You have to make your own gap there, but no-one resents braking to let you in. Kind of selfish hippy. Makes sense…

Durban - when I am king, I shall take away your cars and make you use rickshaws. 

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