Monday, October 17, 2011

Philly/Moscow Driving Habits

If you were to ask my wife, she will tell you she almost died this morning.

If you were to ask me, I'd tell you we had a normal morning commute through heavy Philly traffic.  I drove creatively and efficiently.

She'd say I drove recklessly and suicidally. 

Let's break this down and be reasonable here.  Let's forget the fact that in the decade that I've been driving, I've only had one speeding ticket.  Let's also forget that I've never been in an accident that was my fault.

The REAL meat of this discussion comes from her father's driving habits.  When I'm driving, she will hold on to the roof of the car, screaming, panting, pleading for her life, and generally trying to deliberately distract me from my excellent driving skills.  Then, of course, in the future when I DO get in an accident (because of her loud crow-like squawking, likely) she can then say, "See? I KNEW you were a bad driver".

Let this be a warning, wife.

When her father drives, my wife may as well be at the spa, getting a relaxing deep tissue massage by a large-breasted German woman named Helga, and listening to descriptions of delicious Bratwurst recipes.  This man learned how to drive in Russia, for God's sake.  This was back when cars didn't even have turn signals or brake lights, and aggressive driving was taught as a survival method in the Army.  And somehow, when he's weaving through traffic like an insane-o-pants, she's totally fine with it.

Apparently, she comes standard in Luxury Volkswagen models.  Dat auto.

When I was growing up and my dad was stationed at the naval base in Sicily, my parents lovingly joked that the lines painted on the roads of the Italian Autostrada were just painted on the roads just for show, and speed signs were more suggestions than anything else.  And yet, if you were to get into an accident, or cut the wrong person off, the only thing that would happen would be the Italian would get out of the car, wave his/her hands around a lot, and then get back in and drive away.  Then we would all go to the local pastry shop and laugh about it over a cannoli. 

But in Russia?  God help those trying to find your body after an accident in Moscow. Seriously, Google "Driving in Moscow" and watch some of the other crazy You Tube videos, or actually go on some of the sites like this one and this one and read how seriously the people suggest finding alternative methods of transportation.  Not because of the possibility of traffic jams, but rather for your own safety.  Apparently, most people there don't have legal licenses, they "paid for" their licenses, they didn't earn them. 

Can you pick out the asshole?  That's right - it's all of them.

Actually, now that I've worked this out, I'd probably feel a lot safer driving in the same car as someone who survived 50 or so years driving in Russia too.  Ok, in the end, I get why she's so much more comfortable with his driving, but come on, I'm like a basket-making corn-row hair-dressing snake.  That is to say, a master of weaving.

Ok, that was dumb.  But I'm still an awesome driver.  That being said, I know I'm going to get into an accident now. I'm going to end this post because I think I've tempted fate enough.


  1. I don't know what your driving skills are like, but anyone who can maneuver through that totally incompehensible stuff up there...yeah, I'd trust them, too!

  2. I hope your blog has some BIG wood you can knock upon because you are just tempting fate with this one.

  3. Dude. If the word "creative" is associated with your driving that makes me feel about as safe as if the word "creative" is associated with your accounting.

  4. My kids went to Iran for vacation a couple of years ago. (My son in law has family there.) I was terrified for political/safety reasons. I should have been worried about vehicle safety reasons. They are insane drivers.

  5. We are all better than average drivers :-)

    The worst driving I've ever seen was in Prague, though Santa Domingo was pretty bad . . . but I'll admit that I've never been in Moscow.

  6. terrific traffic jam, I would hate to live in a country with a traffic like these, Moscow must be the worse country for driving..


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