Sunday, February 14, 2010

Arlington Update: Driving

“One of us will definitely be in a car collision by the end of this year,” I said to my roommate, Millennium.

Driving around Arlington is reckless. Other drivers cut me off, switch lanes, and create new lanes. Last week, after getting pounded with 30 inches of snow, I was driving on a four-lane road. The lane adjacent to mine was a layer of slush. Potholes and patches of ice were common, so I drove my little Chevy cautiously. The car behind me drove mere inches from my bumper, drifted in between the two lanes and came alongside me, forcing me to the edge of my lane before blowing past.

More experienced drivers seem used to this insanity. I saw a car turn left across traffic, and a car going in the opposite direction nearly creamed the first car. The second car didn’t even slow down—he must’ve known the automobiles would clear each other. On the other hand, if anything went slightly wrong then they would have collided, which may make the driver who got cut off even crazier.

Aside from some other countries such as India, where driving is literally putting your life on the line, New York City is the only location I’ve visited with more daring drivers. There, you can’t go more than one block without hearing a car horn. My dad told me about his uncle in Brooklyn who used to honk as he approached every intersection, regardless of the traffic light, stop sign, or right-of-way. “Uncle Sam wanted to make everyone aware of his arrival,” my dad said.


After the two snowstorms, the snow in my condo’s parking lot was simply pushed aside, rather than moved out. Snow mountains piled high, and there were limited open spaces. Instead of clearing out a space, I snagged a spot that somebody else clearly expended much effort shoveling. It was a handicap spot. I’m glad my tires were not slashed.