Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Road rage (Spain III)

The streets here (San Lorenzio de El Escorial) are narrow and don't allow for more than one (small) car to go through. This, apparently, was of no concern for a driver who parked right in the middle of the street. Yes. An empty car in front of a traffic light at the end of a steeply inclined street and no trace of the driver. What was most infuriating was that there was a small space on the left of the street and just backing the car by half a meter would have allowed traffic to move freely.
So here I am, stuck behind an empty car so I do what anyone would have done: I honk and honk and honk, tapping on the steering wheel with some kind of rhythm to add some urgency to the noisy message.
A woman soon comes running but to my amazement, she does not enter her car but just tells me in Spanish that she will be back very shortly. I plead in English for her to move her car just 50 centimeters as she is right next to her car but she just keeps telling me that she will come back shortly. She must have spent more time pleading to come back than she would have just backing her car. I just can't believe my ears and start insulting her in English thinking at the same time that she'll probably think that I am an American.
Some people are watching the exchange, one man comes up in front of my car to check that indeed I can't go through without her moving the car. He seems satisfied that it is indeed not my fault if the "traffic" (there is only one other car behind mine) is backed up. An old couple is standing at the intersection and the man is shaking his head. I wonder who they are rooting for: the local woman or the foreigner swearing in English with a French accent.

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