On holiday in Turkey

Got myself a two and a half cylinder hire car which is awful. Renault Crappo or something. MX5 would love these roads.

Just to say I think the driving here is the worst I have experienced. Pick a lane. Any lane. Doesn’t matter what speed or direction you want to go in. Just turn.

Was undertaken by a cement mixer on the hard shoulder as I stopped at a red light last night. It wasn’t a close thing, it was a ‘red lights don’t apply to me’ sort of thing.

I’ve driven many places, India was an experience, but there is a logic to the madness there. See a gap and drive into it. Simples. But in Turkey, seems to be just suck on a huge bubble pipe and float some rythm on all them pedals and levers. Watch those needles dance up and down. Use the kerbs to keep you on the black top.

Fun, but…

My guess is the reason the cement mixer didn’t stop was because it couldn’t stop! Faulty/No brakes!!!

Whilst driving through Belgium back to Germany one winter’s night’ I saw flashing amber lights in my rear view mirror, they got closer and closer, and then I was overtaken by a gritter merrily throwing his grit out at about 70 mph.

Driving in the Republic of Ireland can be iffy; they use the hard shoulder there for undertaking.

I do a lot of work in India; never drive there, always have a driver. Though I have been told driving standards in India vary hugely. I work in and around Hyderabadl you get 4-5 lanes squeezed into what should be 2 lanes, and roundabouts are ignored. Those from Mumbai are pretty dismissive of Hyderabadi drivers. Never been in a crash, though I’ve seen a biker slug it out with a car driver after a traffic altercation in the city centre. Lots of motorbikes. The drivers I use are generally very careful, and despite appalling traffic densities, the cars (usually a Maruti of some kind) are always immaculate, Speeds are generally not that high on the motorways, which only see light traffic, but in recent years, that is changing a bit as you see more high end SUVs in use. The most impressive driving I’ve seen is the driver threading his way through a sea of Hero Hondas in his (well, not his) Jaguar XJ X351; that is a big car.

Oh, I don’t know McTrucky, the standards in the UK, especially since Covid, have nose-dived! Every day I venture out now, and I do mean every day, is a drive into the unknown. The dash-cam captures it all and when it gets too bad, and it is bad anyway, so I am already borderline fed up, I am going to start deluging the local cop-shop with a DVD of the gormless antics around here.

On standards abroad, try Thailand. One taxi ride was more than enough to convince me that any thought of hiring a car was going to be a definite non-starter.

I was in Seoul on business in 2000, and in the massive Lincoln taxi from the airport, in rush hour, I could not believe how close everyone was. The road was dual carriageway double decker with three lanes going alongside the river. The taxi was merging from lane 2 to either of the others and then back again as the pillars for the upper deck appeared in front of us in the middle of lane 2!
And all the cars looked immaculate
Asking our minder about this at the hotel, he grinned and said “We drive closer here than anywhere else in the world.”
“Because we can.”
“Yes. The paint on the cars is extra special, it is the world’s thinnest.”