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OK, Class, heads up: This week we shall deal with the intricacies of navigating a motor-propelled vehicle on the road. We will take a look at the different types of drivers you are likely to encounter. Your Irish driver may prove the most difficult to understand.
Starting with the art of driving itself, it has to be said that there is very little pleasure in driving nowadays, in comparison to the leisurely ‘spins’ of a couple of generations back. Now it seems as if you have to compete for every inch of space on the road and when you get to where you are going, trying to find a place to park will stress you out more than did the driving.
On the road, you will encounter a lot of different types of drivers. It is important that you know what you are dealing with, so let us break it down along racist and sexist lines! (With apologies to the politically correct brigade!) Please remember this is not a scientific study … it is much more accurate!
Your typical Spanish driver, both senor and senorita, will never give way to you or slow down to allow you into a stream of traffic. He will only use his indicator as an aggressive tool before cutting in where it is barely safe to do so. If you leave the required space between you and the car in front, he believes it to be his space and he will overtake.
Back to a study of our Irish driver. The female of the species is generally more careful and cautious. She is law-abiding and will do you no harm. However, she will not ever smile and give you right of way – lest you might get the impression that she is ‘easy.’ Like we said, the Irish male driver is a peculiar animal and difficult for other nationalities to figure. He sees a car, a 100 metres up the road with a driver wanting to pull out onto the road. Eamonn will slow down to a crawl, give a friendly flicker of his headlights and flamboyantly invite the driver to come in front of him. This invitee could be in a spot of bother if he or she does not acknowledge Eamonn’s generosity of spirit with a radiant smile and exaggerated wave of the hand. Conversely, if the driver up ahead comes out without the Irishman’s ‘permission’ he/she can expect to be ‘blown off the road!’
An English driver is considerate and courteous to any traffic he can see. But both sexes give scant regard to the car behind. Dave and Dianne have been known to cruise in the overtaking lane and will slow down if they feel the car behind is tail-gating. They will go to any lengths – including creating a traffic-jam, to ensure they can park in the shade in the supermarket car park.
The Welshman is ponderous and can get in your way for two reasons. Firstly, he is either singing a happy song or contemplating the fact that he would prefer to be someplace else. The second reason you need to watch Gareth is that there is usually someone sitting in the passenger seat who knows more than he does.
Whatever about any of the above; you certainly don’t want to meet a Scotsman on the road. Let the story of Aengus be a warning to you.
Mr Smith left London in his shiny new Merc – heading north to spend the weekend in the Scottish Highlands. After crossing the border he always preferred to navigate the quite country roads, and it was on one of these roads – at a bend in the road, to be precise, that Mr Smith encountered Aengus. Aengus was counting sheep on the mountain as he sauntered along in his twenty years old jalopy. Aengus may – or may not have been out a bit too far on the road when he crashed into the Mercedes. The driver, Mr Smith, remained calm and controlled after the incident … stiff upper lip and all.
Aengus welcomed the tourist to his country; pointing out how great it is that the English now come in friendship. He produced a bottle of scotch from the back of his car and offered Mr Smith a drink. Mr Smith was too much of a gentleman to say no – and anyway, he was suffering from shock. Aengus kept offering the Englishman another drink until half the bottle was gone. ‘Such wonderful hospitality’, crooned Mt Smith, a warm glow spreading all over his body. ‘Now it is your turn to have a swallow, Aengus; join me in a toast to the good relations between our two great nations’. ‘Ach, not yet’, replied the Scotsman; I’d better wait until after the police have left!’
I prefer the train myself …
Don’t Forget…..The fellow who blows his horn the loudest is usually in the biggest fog.
*Author, entrepreneur and newspaper columnist, Bernie Comaskey, now spends most of his time on a farm in Ireland; but he retains his strong links with the Costa Blanca. Bernie has published four books; ‘If Ever a Man Suffered’, ‘The Best of Bernie’, ‘The Team’, and ‘Just Between Ourselves’. Bernie’s books are available at half price, on sale from ‘The Leader.’ Call 637 227 385 for info.