More travel fun

Sign Taxi Zagreb, Croatia

Standing in line shivering outside the airport in the “taxi line”, I couldn’t help but wish it would move a little more quickly.  Finally, it was my turn and I was grateful when the door was opened and I could escape the winter chill.

I gladly jumped in and situated myself, happy that it was clean and didn’t smell like dirty socks.  The heater was on high, loud and doing its job well.  The driver was female; an absolute first for me in my taxi riding adventures and I’ve had quite a few.  Maybe this ride would be interesting.

She had on a jacket and scarf and seemed very comfortable with the heat blasting relentlessly in her face.  I was already beginning to re-think the heater.  From the backseat, feeling a little queasy already, I was dying to roll my window down and hang my head out.  Most normal people would have just told her that perhaps 100 degrees was a little too warm, but not me, I just sat there and griped in my head.

She pulled over to type the address into her cell phone GPS, and then we were off.  She operated the gas pedal like she was tapping out a beat (think whip lash) and made me nervous with her constant fiddling with the phone.  I wasn’t feeling too secure that she knew exactly where we were going, because every once in a while I would hear the phone say, “new route”.

She wanted to chat (I really didn’t) so we began to banter about where I was from and why I was here.  I asked her how long she had been in this business and she said 10 years.  She appeared to be quite a few years older than me and I found myself looking at her time worn hands.  I thought, “she looks very weary”.  I began to feel something more akin to compassion for her than irritation at her driving, poor choice of proper temperature and the inability to tell that I was not in the mood for mindless chitchat.

As we pulled up to my hotel, after passing it and having to turn around and go back, I was glad that I had been kind to her.  I’m sure that she deals with rude travelers all the time, but, by the grace of God, I wasn’t one of them.  It’s not so difficult to put others first and it always ends up being a blessing.

Oh and she asked me to call her for my return trip; I’ll have to think about that 🙂

Oh no you didn’t!

Different speed limits apply for day and night...

Patience is the companion of wisdom.”  Saint Augustine

This may sound very strange, but today my patience has been sorely tested by people with no patience.  You may say it was to be expected and is somewhat deserved.   After all, it was my decision to do some shopping and fight traffic the day after Christmas.

It seems that today, the spirit of Christmas was greatly lacking by some of the road warriors I shared the pavement with today.  I heard more than my share of horns honking and saw incredulous and hateful looks exchanged.

To finish out the day, I was driving in the direction of home where there is a slow zone for a few miles.  I was obeying the speed limit and the driver behind me was risking life and limb trying to find a way to get around me without colliding with oncoming traffic.  He finally passed about the time the speed limit returned to normal, and when I sped up to appropriate number, I found myself stuck behind him going less than the speed limit, for the most part.  Maybe he just had a thing for being the first car in line?  I am not going to lie, it took all I had not to put all of my 420hp to use and blow right past him, but then I would have been exhibiting the same behavior as he.

We ended up arriving at the same place at the same time which was no surprise to me.  I am not without fault as far as pushing the speed limit goes and I can certainly admit to many times when I was in a hurry and pushed my luck.  However, watching people today, I was once again amazed at how ridiculous full grown men and women can behave over a parking spot or a car that doesn’t have its wheels rolling within 1 second of the light turning green, or how some will risk their own and others safety due to short tempers.

I wonder if all of the honkers and passers and eye rollers behave that way all of the time or if they are just human like me, and struggle worse on some days than others?

We need to plan ahead to alleviate the stress of running late, realize that our fellow humans aren’t holding us up intentionally; there isn’t some premeditated, devious plan to keep us from getting to our destination.  And finally, sometimes you just need to stop and breathe.

Mitch Teemley

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