18 January, 2014

Road Etiquette

Thou shalt not make racial driving insults.

Honour the road rules and regulations.

Remember the polite gesture when a fellow brother has let thy merge.

Thou shalt not do burn outs on the streets.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's parking spot.

There are only a few things in life that I consider basic human etiquette. Those rules that no one mentions but expects them to be abided by, due to common sense. 

I have accepted that not every man will open doors for you, or swiftly tuck in your chair as you sit down. That not every child will eat with their mouths closed at the dinner table. And that sometimes friends will forget to take off their shoes when they enter an asian household. 

These things are easy to let go. 

But there are others that I do not have the patience for. When these certain rules are broken I am instantly infuriated. But I do not do anything about it. I am simply disappointed.

In life. In society. Momentarily melodramatic asking myself what has happened to us all? Have we forgotten how to be considerate? Do we no longer have a general awareness of those around us?

I here by declare these as the 21st century CSC (Claire's Sense Commandments)

Trivial commandment #1
Thou shalt take careful consideration whilst readjusting and de-sanding thy beach towel. 

There is nothing worst then getting a clump of sand sprayed across your face at the beach while you are trying to relax and sun bake. Usually it is due to children running across the beach, other times it's adults wearing thongs, then there is the de-sanding of the beach towel. The worst.

I just can not help but to groan and give the person a very unpleasant face to let them know that… "You! Yes you...you got me." I am then left lying there, helpless, disgusted, and possibly blinded by the particles that have latched onto my contacts.

I for one, put my towel into a mound and slowly move it away from the people I am with. I then make sure I know which direction the wind is blowing (so I don't get sand in my own eyes) then proceed to flap my towel. Slowly placing it back onto the sand I retire to my towel. 

Unnecessary? Probably, but it is common sense with an awareness of people around you. 

Trivial commandment #2 
(as stated above) Remember the polite gesture when a fellow brother has let thy merge.

As long as I could remember, the one thing I noticed in the car was when my mum raised her hand up to the rear view mirror communicating with the car behind her. I wondered what secret gesture this may have been. What mysterious things did she know that I didn't?

Eventually I asked her why she did that. Why she raised her hand like that. And she told me. It was to thank the driver behind her for letting her merge. From that moment on, I honestly thought that being in a position to communicate with other drivers without talking was mind blowing.

It became something sacred. Something special that could only be practiced when I had my licence. The excitement of being able to raise my hand in the car obviously wore off. But there has always been a sense of pride that I had when doing so.

A pride that came from showing I appreciated and acknowledged others on the road. It has also been something that I expected everyone else would do in return. Turns out I was wrong. It turns out that people must have forgotten about this ritual, or they just couldn't care less.

Now when I know that I have purposely slowed down to let someone get in front of me, my eyes dart to the cars' rear view mirror. Glaring through the window, waiting for a little gesture, waiting for that hand to rise, I wait but… nothing. No dam thank you!

It bothers me that I find this frustrating because I don't know whether it shows that the other driver is ungrateful, lazy, and inconsiderate; or that I am an arrogant, self-absorbed prune.

Maybe it means both, maybe neither. Maybe no one cares about this but me.

Trivial Commandment #3
(also stated above) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's parking spot.

I am going to assume that this is most relatable out of the three I have mentioned. Because surely there is no one who finds a thrill in finding parking. Who enjoys going around and around, feeling the time tick on and their patience run out. 

There is something about cars in a busy parking lot that is so animalistic. There is a sense of rivalry, tension and technique that goes into the sport. You lurk, you stalk, you seek out, and then you pounce on a returning customer. 

There is always that dilemma in the car park isn't there? Do you sit in one place and hope someone returns in the next couple minutes? Or do you drive around to survey the whole area? 

Or is there no technique and just plain old luck? 

For me, the two most annoying things a person can do while you are trying to find parking is...

  • When they don't notice you are stalking them back to their car. Once they reach their car they unlock, unload but then lock the car again. They then look surprised when they notice you there and shake their heads. Come on.. If you feel a car lurking behind you, either: RUN AWAY or TELL THEM YOU AREN'T LEAVING!

  • When you have been indicating for a while, trying to be patient as a previous car prepares to leave the parking spot, then someone else speeds around the corner and takes your spot. 

The most aggravating situation to be in. This has happened to me a couple of times in what I have experienced as the two worst places to find parking. 

The first is at The Grounds of Alexandria. Great food but limited narrow parking. And the second is at a small outdoor parking lot in Hurstville. It is a very poorly designed car park. 

I'm not one to storm out of my car and demand the spot back, partially because I can't be bothered, but mostly because I am too timid to assert myself in that way. However, I am not afraid to use my horn. 

No matter how much I beep and beep and beep, the other driver remains oblivious. They choose to ignore the annoying chirping of my Kia Rio. Still high on the satisfaction of cheating their way in, your foe continues to exit their vehicle with a mixture of, innocence and smugness smeared over their face.  

The amount of contempt I can hold against a person in that moment is unbelievable. No other feeling can compare.

These are the few sins that I do not stand for.

Once reading this, you can never unread it. 

You have been given your chance. 

If you do not follow these commandments … nothing life threatening will occur to you.

But you better watch out next time you are on the road, because I may be there. And I might see you commit one of my fictional sins. 

And when that happens, I will not hesitant to take action.

I will beep you. 

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