Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Returning to the roads in Abuja is a shock to the system: one forgets how rude and discourteous people are when they drive in FCT. People cut you up, barge in front, veer into your lane and then veer out again, without a moment of awareness or self-doubt.

By the same token, I was surprised how docile and tame British drivers have become in the UK last week. Its partly because there are speed cameras everywhere these days, including those horrible 'average speed' ones that time the distance between two cameras across a distance of a few miles that mean that you can't just speed up when you're past the camera. Bastardos.

Still, I felt myself to be comparatively a raw and aggressive driver on the M6. Its partly because people driving on British motorways don't seem to know the rules anymore. You have people stuck in the fast lane or the middle lane, refusing to understand that if there is space in the slow lane, you should move into it. So I ended up overtaking on the left constantly, weaving in and out. The annoying thing was, the drivers I overtook on the wrong side frequently got annoyed. One big looking guy in a Hilux got very pissed off and ended up chasing me, pulling next to me and showing his fists and pointing to the hard shoulder, as if we should park and sort out the matter with some fisticuffs. It was time to get off at the next service station and let him cruise away into the distance. The police should fine people stuck in the fast or middle lanes. Or maybe use their average speed cameras to concoct another form of fine...

Meanwhile, today, while shopping, someone biffed into my car and gave it a good scratchy dent. Bad karma. Fortunately, the geez stuck around to apologise and make amends. I was almost completely disarmed by his honesty. It turns out he works for the Navy. Now lets see if he coughs up when I get the quote for the panel beating and respray.

So there you have it, I am too rough to drive in the UK without incident, and too oyinbo to not be discomfited by Abuja drivers. What to do?


Anonymous,  10:18 pm  

Save the earth! Walk or cycle lol

Mr C 9:38 am  

Get a driver when you are in Nigeria, take the tube, when you are in London, then drive when you go to

MsMak,  2:33 pm  

Is there such a thing as "driving identity crisis" or "motorway displacement syndrome"? Sounds like that's what you're experiencing, lol.

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