On Driving

I think I may have talked about this in the past (I’m not sure, and I’m not going to start looking in my blog archive… Can’t be bothered right now…)

Well, the thing is that I learnt to drive in the UK. Back in Spain I had never driven. Furthermore, I never had the need to drive. Living in a small town where the furthest distance is a 30-45 minute walk, you have to be really lazy to feel the need of a car. But I must admit that everything was a stone’s throw away and I was young and full of energy, so walking was not something too crazy to venture into.

Britain is so different. Due to the “horizontal” build of towns (compared to the “vertical” build in Spain – mostly blocks of flats) distances are much greater, and you really need a car to go anywhere. In Byfleet we had lots of local amenities (well, “lots“: a pub, a couple of shops and several restaurants) and we were even able to walk to work if we felt like it. However, we’ve now lost this “locality” and we use the car for everything: journey to/fro work, go to the shops, go anywhere in Basingstoke – as our house is in the middle of a house estate without any amenities…

So we are using my car a lot. Jon’s car, bless him, is not very fuel efficient so we try to use it in special occassions only. We use my poor little micra for everything else.

I am not going to talk about the obscene amount of money I spend on petrol, because it’s Friday and I don’t want to ruin my weekend early with ill-thoughts… I am going to talk about the hidden “Spanish driver” in me πŸ™‚

As I said, I learnt to drive in the UK and I never used a car in Spain. However, I’ve been in many cars in Spain in my life and something about the way of driving there must have stuck in my brain. Yes, it definetely stuck, as I am now, officially, a Spanish driver in the UK.

I get road rage, I shout & swear at other drivers, I use my elbows, I tailgate, I cut people off… The next thing will be tooting! THAT will be the final manifestation of the hidden Spanish driver in me.

I never used to get road rage before. I have only started to notice it in the last couple of weeks. I want to blame it on the stupid rush hour traffic that we’ve been hitting in the last couple of weeks. This morning traffic was awesome on the way to work and only took us the normal 45 minutes, and I could feel so much happier. When we hit the morning traffic and it takes us +1 hour to get to work, I am always in a much fouler mood.

The plus side is that my normal and motorway driving have greatly improved since we moved to Basingstoke. Now I’m very comfortable doing 80mph in the motorway, I regularly use the outside lane to overtake, etc. Also, I have realised how much I enjoy driving (despite the occassional road rage). Actually, I realised this a while ago. The rush hours and the road rages haven’t put me off driving and I still enjoy it.

Enjoy this classic by Catatonia and have a great weekend!

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