Thursday, March 12

wicked pissah!!

I've been told on dozens of occasions that Massachusetts drivers are among the worst in the world. I can say, without hesitation, that is categorically false. They cannot hold a candle to drivers in Egypt, it's not even close. And after fighting through traffic in several metropolitan areas, all of which claim the worst drivers in the history of the automobile, I can tell you that Massachusetts drivers are not even the most despicable in the country.

I think people have a twisted pseudo-masochistic relationship with the traffic and drivers that populate the cities they live in. No matter what major city I am in, people complain about traffic to such a degree I almost sense an air of pride. And you always hear about how everyone else is crazy as though your friend is the only reputable driver around.

Los Angeles is pretty awful and is undeniably the worst place in the country to be stuck in traffic. However, when a thousand highways go in a thousand different directions and merge together every three miles nothing can end well.

Freeways simply don't exist within San Francisco’s city limits, which means the only way to get downtown is via side streets or the God-awful mass transit system. Interstate 5 is only road connecting the entire Seattle-Olympia thoroughfare, ergo a disaster waiting to happen. One initially thinks Chicago drivers are terrible until you see the potholes stretching off into the horizon, potholes whose only purpose in life is to: 1) wreck your car; or 2) wreck two cars when you swerve into your neighbor's lane trying to avoid a pothole. Boston drivers refuse to abandon the left lane no matter how fast they are driving, which is a constant 70 mph on freeways and dirt roads alike. Washington, DC is the extreme of passiveness. People would much rather stop in the middle of the road than engage in risky, overly aggressive behavior such as merging or changing lanes.

Where was I going with this? Ah yes, I didn't find drivers in Boston to be particularly intimidating. I did, however, find many of the people to be a tad aggressive. I had a great time wandering through downtown Boston for a day. I walked along the Freedom Trail, took in a reenactment of the Boston Massacre, and stuffed myself with many local delicacies (Chowda and Boston Scrod to name a few). Just to give you an idea of how seriously Bostonians take their history, the reenactment was put on by the Boston Massacre Historical Society. An entire group was formed and money was spent in honor of an event that lasted maybe ten minutes.

The sheer number of young men who appeared to be on some type of steroid, wore Red Sox caps backwards and were just itching for a fight caught me off guard. On multiple occasions a group of guys would purposefully make eye contact with me, no doubt hoping I would commit some heinous act worthy of a beating. It's no wonder the British sent troops to quell the citizens in 1768. Two hundred and fifty years later Bostonians half expect lobster-backed limeys to show up and over-tax their Venti Mocha Lattes from Starbucks.

Bostonians could just be jealous of New Yorkers. While the city possesses hardly any sports teams worth paying money to see, New York City boasts infinitely more of everything, including the worst drivers in the country. I am an aggressive-defensive driver hybrid who is rarely frightened by lunatics on the road; however, the brazen disregard for the law and the safety of pedestrians exhibited by New Yorkers sometimes surprise me.

I stopped in New York City for an evening to visit with friends and play beer roulette and trivial pursuit. It was relaxing and a fitting conclusion to my trip. After weeks on the road and countless sights, people, and sleepless nights, I arrived in New York City, the city that never sleeps, and spent the night on a couch playing board games.

I suppose all that's left now is a conclusion.

No comments:

Post a Comment