DRIVING IN BARBADOS: Ignore Greetings, Tyres last longer!
You may recall last year how my left front tyre was the opposite of Viagra and more like the skin of a Shar-Pei puppy. The patch only lasted up to this week… What happened? A lot, I attended the Haiti Fundraiser at Clifton who, as chukka-addicts can attest, has a gravel path which makes even a Tank think twice! Imagine what it did to the poor put-upon wheel?
Believe it or not I think what was far worse happened before that, it was when I was heading for one of the banks in Collymore Rock and while turning in a pal tooted at me that I had not seen in a while… I made the mistake of not only responding but looking around to see who it was? Bad mistake!
I barked my wheel on the pavement, despite having heard better advice on greetings while travelling years ago! My first car was under repairs and I was heading back home in a taxi and the driver was hailed by one of his pals, when I pointed it out he says he will wait until another time to figure out who since the last time he replied he nealy collided into a next vehicle!
That cabbie is actually bang on, most Bajans feel driving on the road be it for work or recreation is also a social event… When I was at CBC I remember a receptionist quarrelled with me for not hailing back when she waved, this was Post-Cabbie and so I said I do not drive to socialise but to go from one area to the next. The woman says if I do that the next time she “shouts out” to me that she would scrawl up my car with her keys! (No, we were not romantically involved, she is – in fact – good friends with the wife) However, now that she is a driver too, she understands what I meant!
But here it is, years later, I slip and ignore the advice given and it ended up in an expensive trip to Automotive Art… Moral? When you are driving along Bajan roads (Which are narrow but nothing like St Vincent or St Lucia), just drive and nought else – if you hear your name hollered or a beep which seems not to be an aggressive warning? Just wave in the general direction of the sounds and keep your eyes on the road!