07 May 2010

land of the free, home of reasonable traffic norms

i've been reflecting on my time here a lot recently. one thing i've noticed is that the things that make me most frustrated on a day to day basis almost all have to with driving. i'm looking forward to some time in the states, where the following practices are not common and socially acceptable:

-driving right-hand drive cars on the right side of the road
-allowing your children to stand on your lap while you drive
-using brights as the only lights you have
-sleeping in the middle of the road, sprawling across both lanes
-leaving your car running and unattended for 15 minutes while you put the laundry in
-driving in reverse for extended distances along the main road
-letting your children hang out of car windows as you speed along
-driving so recklessly that the people sitting in the back of your truck fall out and into the road
-passing people with complete disregard to the blind curve directly ahead of you
-parking on the side of the road and leaving your brights on
-decorating the back of your taxi with 151-proof rum labels
-opening your car door while driving to spit betel nut on the side of the road... without checking for pedestrians that may very well be hit with your car door or showered in betel nut spit
-driving (without exaggeration) 5-10 miles an hour between 4 and 8pm because its sakau time and you're just that mellow
-using a car that lacks doors, a roof, a windshield, or any semblance of emissions control
-doing ANYTHING you want to do behind the wheel, because there is zero police presence for traffic-related things. (excepting the traffic guys who direct traffic at lunch hour by blowing their whistle at every single car that passes.)

i'll stop there. there are certainly deeper frustrations and more important issues facing pohnpei. but today, i'm looking forward to interstates, seatbelts, traffic laws, and police to actually enforce them.

see you stateside, suckas! i'm in hawaii may 12, and in northern va may 20.

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