2016 Dec 9
We all know that driving in Sri Lanka is no easy feat and this is in most part due to the bull-headed behaviour of some people who can make our roads look like a scarily accurate re-enactment of Mad Max.
So, let’s dive right in shall we?
The Flock of Bikes
Sitting in traffic is bad enough on its own, but it’s even more annoying when you add having to be wary of motorcyclists scratching your vehicle while trying to squeeze themselves through any available space and get to the front of the line. And where are these idiots trying to go? To the very front of the line of course, where all the motorcyclist converge like a flock of birds. It honestly looks so ridiculous and is a perfect example of the lack of discipline some drivers have on the road.
Those Whose Fathers Own The Road
When you’re in a hurry to get somewhere and you see the jokers who walk right in the middle of the road with no thought for oncoming vehicles, you sometimes have to supress the urge to yell “thatthage parade?” at them. These Lankans truly give new meaning to the phrase “udabalagenayanawa.” Or you’re stopped at a crossing and you notice that the people are just leisurely walking, swinging their bags and having a nice little chat, on the road that is apparently owned by their fathers and has been passed down from generation to generation. Look, I get that the crossing is their rightful territory to walk on but jeez can’t they move along a bit faster? Not to mention the jaywalkers who act like they’re sauntering around the park as well. In addition to breaking the law, inconveniencing drivers and endangering their own lives, they take their own sweet time doing it!
The Oblivious Cruisers
Don’t you just love driving down an almost empty road and being held up by some moron (mostly tuk drivers) going at like 30, on the right lane? No matter how many times you honk your horn or flash your lights at them they appear to be completely unaware of the fact that they’re holding everyone up! After enduring a frustrating couple of minutes much like Officer Hopps at the DMV run by sloths (waddup Zootopia reference!), you will end up breaking the rules and overtaking these vehicles from the left while angrily scowling at them. But as they clearly have their heads in the clouds, they won’t notice this either. Let’s not forget the motorbikes lording over the road by driving right in the middle, rendering it impossible for another vehicle to go through. These lost causes will inevitably end up making you later to your destination than a pizza delivered by Peter Parker.
Clearly adhering to the saying “rules were meant to be broken” these idiots are the essence of Lankan drivers. From the family of five without helmets on motorbikes meant for two, to those who create a third or fourth lane on the side and block oncoming traffic, these people’s sole objective is to get to where they want to, no matter how it’s done or how dangerous it is. It takes a distinct type of moron to block the entire lane of oncoming traffic and then angrily gesture at the other drivers to make space for them. And of course, those special snowflakes whose journeys are the most important of all on the road because they just absolutely have to overtake others on a bend so that the oncoming vehicle has to hastily slam on the breaks to avoid killing this Lightning McQueen of the real world.
These people are the ones you see throw out their empty milk packets, tissues, polythene bag and what have you out the vehicle onto the road. As you look on in disgust, you can only wonder whether this disgusting habit arises from the lack of dustbins in their homes. In the same vein, are those that spit on the road while walking or driving. You will truly come to appreciate this problem if you are unfortunate enough to suddenly have some bulathkela hit your car on your morning commute.
Much like the aftermath of a car chase in a particular beloved movie franchise, tuk drivers will manoeuvre themselves through any packed junction and leave a trail of chaos behind them. A Lankan favourite, tuks are a godsend when you’re a passenger. However, as a driver you realise just how much havoc they cause. Much like the motorbikes, they don’t have a particular lane; their road is basically any space available on the road. In their hurry to avoid a red light, some even go on the pavement and have the audacity to shout at pedestrians to get out of the way. Of course they get their fair share of road rage aimed at them but it’s honestly pointless and is like water off a duck’s back.
And The Furious
While I’m greatly appreciative of public transport, bus drivers can be a downright menace. Even though they’re required to stick to the left lane they’ll switch to whichever lane is going fastest and then cut through like 3 lanes to get back to a bus stop on the left side. It’s almost like Keanu Reeves is screaming in the bus driver’s ear to keep the speed over 50 in order to prevent the bus from catastrophically exploding. Sometimes they actually race each other on the road! In their rush to get to places the fastest, they will graze the sides of many a vehicle or get mad that the other drivers who didn’t somehow magically move out of their way. It’s as if impatience is a prerequisite for being a bus driver, because bar a very few, all of them are alike. In fact, the recent strike really highlighted just how peaceful driving can be without buses racing around like wannabe Dominic Torettos.