Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Worst Driver Ever

On the first day I lived in St. Cloud I pulled into the left turn lane…to um, turn left!…and a car 2 lanes over…in the right turn land…turned LEFT! Right in front of me. I remember thinking WHAT in the world is wrong with this place. Why did God send me here to live…they drive like maniacs!

But today, I must confess that I, myself, have turned into the worst driver ever! Crazy drivers in St. Cloud have NOTHING on my new skills. They taught me defensive driving in Drivers Ed…in Sierra Leone, it's all Men, Women, motorcycles, cars, trucks, and podas for themselves; AGGRESSIVE driving is the key to getting anywhere...that and an EXTREME amount of patience and sense of humor!

 I've only been driving for a few months here and I've had quite a few adventures:

First, there was the bus…yes, I hid a big "grey-hound" bus with my little car. It wasn't pleasant…I had to choose, the bus, the ditch (which by the way is a steep drop off) or the 2 motorcycles coming straight at me! And I chose the bus…and it was a hit and run because I just kept driving…I didn't want to end up in jail or have them confiscate my car until I gave them enough money to return the bus to perfect condition…and I figure I only took out my side mirror so what real damage did I do to the bus anyway…and no one was watching;)

One day I was out, taking a road that I take often and people started running at the car and shouting at me…seems that it was a "Common Understanding" that the route of the road was changed for the day…I needed to go through the parking lot to make a left turn…Ooops! Sorry, where are the road signs? Detour signs? Help a girl out!
And speak of road signs, I drive by stop signs all the time and don't stop. Osseh says they are just suggestions, and I hope he's right, and that he means that about ALL stop signs in SL…I think there are 3 or 4!
I have learned that it is acceptable to park your vehicle just about anywhere…in the middle of the street is fine…in fact if you want to park it in a manner that blocks all lanes of traffic you can…if you want to park it in the oncoming lane, FINE…really whatever is most convenient for you! And you have the right to be upset when someone hits you…you can call them "stupid fool" and punch them (this hasn't happened to me yet!
I got waved over by some police officers (or at least they were dressed like police officers) and asked if I was wearing slippers…they told me that they were doing checks on drivers footwear because they were very bored and thirsty…this was code for "give us money"..I played dumb blonde…worked out well! I also learned, later, that stopping for police officers is not always the wise thing to do…sometimes you should just keep driving…how can you know when to stop and when not to? Use your intuition…I look forward to my chance to run from the police…I mean to see them run after me as I'll be in the car and they'll be on foot! LOL!
The other day I went to a restaurant and came out and found that there were two lanes of cars parked behind mine…they made the drivers come out and move their cars so I could get out (that was nice) then they gave me hand signals to help me back up (not so nice because there were 3 of them all giving different suggestions, and I can pretty much assume that none of them had ever driven a vehicle before!) and then when I pulled out there were 5 cars trying to use 1 lane and go in 4 directions. NOT KIDDING! It was insanity. I decided then, that the parking lot at the Crossroads Mall on the Saturday before Christmas is a beautiful, peacefully calm place:)
At some point last week I hit a pothole just right and now the whole underside of the car feels like it is constantly shaking and about to fall off…not sure if it's worth fixing…I know I'm just going to hit a pothole….or a giant speed bump…of a motorcycle…or a bus again soon!
I wanted to go to the grocery store one day but I had to wait because my security guard told me that my car was too dusty to drive. TOO DUSTY!?! I've seen cars on the road with the front window so broken I'm sure you can see out of it…and vans that are duct taped together and are without doors and the dust will hinder my driving:) I am a terrible driver, but not that bad!
I am finding driving to be stressful and yet entertaining…I never know what crazy thing I will encounter while I'm out…Saturday I was stuck in traffic and a LARGE truck decided that things were just moving too slow, so the driver made another lane and came up next to me in oncoming traffic. People start honking and screaming at him and he turns and points at me in my little blue Nissan…look there's a white lady driving here…she must be the cause of it…he starts waving at me frantically trying to get me to move…this time my choice was stay or STAY…there was not an inch to spare…unfortunately for him, his plan to blame it all on the white girl didn't work so well…I had my windows rolled up and the music cranked and I just pretended to be oblivious:) 
It's official, I'm going to be picking up some REALLY TERRIBLE driving skills while here in Sierra Leone…and your prayers for all of us who drive, walk, or transportation of any kind in Freetown are very much appreciated!