Sunday, March 17, 2013


The Things I Have Seen...And What People Have Seen From Me

It’s been a long time coming for me to write about commuting.  What a surprise that I now have the time to write about it given that I actually don’t have a lengthy commute anymore.

It’s amazing what you see on the road--what people do in their vehicles, how they drive, and their reactions to outside stimuli, like me.  I put in 13 years of commuting from Steveston to West Vancouver and back again each day--crossing 5 bridges and almost losing my insanity by the end of it (turned out it was actually where I was spending my day that almost cost me my sanity).  Writing about my commuting adventures is probably more worthy than one simple blog post given there is such a plethora of material, hence the reason why I’ve split the subject into three parts and a possible on-going feature from time to time.  The abundance of stories are not just from commuting to and from work either--I just seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in my car.  It makes me happy to be the designated driver for my friends so I know they get home safely and I always offer to drive if there is a choice.  The conclusion is that I really enjoy driving--either that or I have some serious control issues or perhaps it’s a combination of both.  And if you consider that I aspire to drive NASCAR or a reasonable facsimile someday, then voila, you are now a little bit closer to understanding how I feel behind the wheel.

Comedians have played this over and over but it’s true--people really do believe that they are in some kind of invisible bubble when they are in their car.  This is what I want to say to the people who are in the bubble: “You know, I can see you in there--I can see you picking your nose and wiping it on the upholstery,” or, “Oh there was no time to shave this morning so you’re doing it in your car where all the little hairs can fall on to your business suit--isn’t that hygienic.”  And while I am busy grossing out (yes, I’m an 80‘s girl), I’m watching these people weave all over the road because god forbid you could shove your finger straight up your nose and still drive in your lane at same time.  

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have done a ridiculous amount of weird stuff in my car too, but that’s with knowing full well that everyone can see me.  I’ve stopped at a light and put lipstick/mascara/eyeliner on--perfectly normal.  I’ve eaten bananas in my car and have unintentionally almost caused some serious car accidents as a result of making eye contact with the other drivers (typically male)--I’ve stopped doing that now.  I always dance as much as one can dance in their car.  I like to sing loudly, and I like to sing to other drivers at times.  I also like to air guitar some of my heavy metal when the mood should strike (like Iron Maiden or Slayer for example).  I have had to put deodorant on in my car once but that was an isolated incident, but again, I was fully aware I was being watched.  I have changed outfits, acted out Shakespeare, and learned other languages like French and Italian--all while driving in my car.

I’m sure you’re wondering what kind of driver I am now.  There is one very good friend of mine in particular, Lisa, who will dispute what I am about to write to her dying day because she happened to witness a mixology of incidents while I was driving her home one night.  I am an excellent driver--not one accident in my 26 years of driving.  And yes, that evening I was with Lisa, I almost mowed down a pedestrian (with a baby carriage) but she had no reflective decals on her at all (she did happened to be in a crosswalk, but that’s beside the point).  Then I think there was some guy on his bike, again, in the dark with no reflective wear...and you get the gist.  

Another time my good friend Sheral was driving with me down Bellevue in West Vancouver and out of nowhere, some woman just decided to cross the road (NOT at a crosswalk) and I just waved her back to the sidewalk, shouted to her “go back, go back” and stepped on the gas--she went back alright. And if I don’t like you and you are in front of my car, just ask my daughter’s ex-principal at her old elementary school what that’s like.  She was horrible to my daughter (my daughter is autistic) so I didn’t see the harm in almost running this woman over in the school parking lot.  Ah, there’s nothing like shoving it in neutral, revving the engine, turning on Judas Priest’s “You Got Another Thing Coming”, slamming it into gear and letting it rip--nobody messes with my girl (I’ll ask my friend Jody to back me on that one). 

I openly admit I don’t particularly care for pedestrians which is why I plead my case about living in London, England some day.  I would be perfect there considering pedestrians would think twice about walking out in front of moving vehicles.  The drivers in London are equally as crazy as me and of course driving on the other side of the road and being on the other side of the car would add a whole new component to my already interesting driving repertoire.  

It’s funny--I always ask for feedback and comments on my blog...I will say I’m a little nervous on this one.  Maybe you’re the person whose been the unlucky one driving in front of me, or you have been on the receiving end of me shouting driving tips at you (recently I have been doing this in Italian).  All I ask, is please be gentle. 

In Part 2, stay tuned for more about what I have witnessed while on the road, those all-too-famous interactions I’ve had with other drivers, and lastly, in Part 3, some handy tips from me while driving in Vancouver.  

1 comment:

  1. umm... I happen to be one of those pedestrians.. but I will always try to make EYE contact with the driver (without eating a banana of course) before I even attempt to cross ON A CROSSWALK. :-)Some of those drivers (not you of course. You are an exceptional driver) are a little crazy and do not pay attention to what's outside their little bubble.. I was almost side swiped once by a van while I was on the CROSSWALK. Scary. LOVE your blog and loved the banana story.. made me laugh. Keep up the good work. Love ya! David