Sunday, December 19, 2010

Road Rules

Yesterday, our Turkish/American ladies group had a gourmet club.  We all brought Italian side dishes and desserts to share, and our lovely host provided the main course.  The event was held at a very nice restaurant in a very cool part of Adana-and I am not being sarcastic.  It was a lovely afternoon with lovely ladies.  Wendi drove us.  It was her first time really going beyond the Alley.  I was the navigator as we followed my neighbor, Seyhun, to the restaurant.

To say that driving here is frightening is a gigantic understatement.  Wendi is a rock star for wanting to try.  At any point in time, you share the road with horse carriages, overloaded fruit trucks about to topple over, stray packs of dogs, and cars filled with more people than I thought possible.  I have even seen a family of 4 riding on a mo-ped together.  Not a joke.  And the youngest was a baby.  But I digress.  Speed limits?  What speed limits?  Lanes, what lanes?  It is truly a madhouse.  To top it off, today I saw something that made all this other stuff look normal.  We were leaving the restaurant and walking down the street to our car.  We stopped to say goodbye to our friends at their car when suddenly a man hurried over to us and motioned for us to move quickly.  Apparently, his friend's big truck was blocked in and he couldn't back up.  What did he do?  He drove his truck UP ON THE SIDEWALK.  The same sidewalk filled with pedestrians.  He drove away right down the sidewalk as people around us barely batted an eye.  I was slack-jawed. 

When we told our Turkish friends about how frightened we are to drive here, they just laughed.  They don't like to drive in America.  They say-"too many rules, I am afraid I am always breaking rules".  Oh, how I miss you, sweet American rules of the road!   

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