Friday, September 24, 2004

Too Much Blogging

So, now that I don't have my filter, I'm going to have to start limiting how many new posts I make per day. Today, for example, I left all of my notes to post at home, and while I was here at work, I thought of 12 more items. I'm going to try to limit myself to no more than four posts a day. I'd hate to have to reinstall that filter...

So, since this is my fourth post today, let's make it count, and talk more about driving in Japan.

Of course, I haven't been everywhere in Japan, so I don't really know how the drivers are as a whole, so I will only mention the drivers here in Fukui (motto: "Worst Drivers on Planet Earth").

For example, yesterday, I was driving the speed limit (40km/h), and people were lining up behind me. Then they started passing me by pulling into on-coming traffic. I was going SO SLOW (the speed limit) that they would rather RISK THEIR LIVES than wait for me. I was actually causing more danger by going the actual speed limit than I would by speeding.

So, I sped up to 45. Then to 50. Then to 60. Understand, this whole time, they are STILL PASSING ME.

And not slowly either. I'd estimate they were going at least 20km/h faster than me, which means that they were likely going 80km/h (or more, they had to slow down when they caught up to me).

So, 80 in a 40, or twice the posted speed limit. For those not used to metric, 40km/h is about 25mph, so they were doing 50 in a 25.


Also, what reminded me of this was an incident on the way to work this morning. See, Japanese drivers are all, apparently, late for something important. This is why they tend to speed so much, and why they don't necessarily wait for the light to turn green to go. They'll wait for the cross-light to turn red, and then go.

It is the same during road construction. In places where one lane is closed, road crews set up lights at each end, with a timer. Stop for 30 seconds, then green light. The lights are timed so that after a green light turns red, they're both red for 10 seconds (so that cars already on their way can get through).

Now, as I'm driving, I see that the light up ahead is flashing green (meaning 'yellow', or about to turn red), but I was close enough that when I started past the road construction, the light was still green. I wasn't worried, because the light on the other side would stay red for 10 seconds.

Unfortunately for me, the Japanese drivers know this 10 second rule too, and they interpret it to mean "If there's less than 10 seconds on the timer, it's time to go", so what do I see? A line of cars headed my way, against the light.

You have no idea how much effort it is taking for me to refrain from either shouting or typing curses right now as I recall this incident.

Of course, who should have to back up? ME of course! Since there was only one of ME and ALL of them (the whole line decided to go against the light; in Japan, everyone works together as a team).

I was already frustrated enough due to the car behind me. I'm not saying he was tailgating, because I'm not sure if that is the correct term, but I couldn't have reported him anyway as I could not see his front license plate because he was too close. If he were any closer, though, I could have seen his BACK license plate.

So, bad day for driving this morning.

Anyway, clock on the wall says it's time to go to the BoE, so ttfn.

1 comment:

  1. Wow.

    I mean, I though Spokane drivers suck, but you really have it bad.