It's no secret we've had a few run-ins with our car rental company. We had a contractual agreement. They didn't follow it. That's breaking the rules. That is somehow okay here. This just isn't okay.
Nowhere has this propensity for rule-breaking been more apparent then while driving. For example, their are lane markers to delineate where people should keep their cars - in a lane. Any lane of their choosing (as long as they're going in the right direction, which we will get to later). In Turkey we have witnessed and were later told that driving right down the middle of a two-lane highway is not only allowed bit recommended. This of course makes no sense but the practice is rampant. Blinkerless, aimless roaming from lane to lane appears to be a national pastime.
Despite this and the other driving-related activities outlined below it does have to be said that we did not witness a single car accident or the aftermath of a car accident all of our 1100 miles. I managed to contain my LA road rage until yesterday when we reached Konya and the driving reached a new level of unsafe and I decided the least we could do was honk furiously in an effort to point out that such activities were incredibly dangerous. They included:
-A guy in an eleven-passenger van turning left across three lanes of forward traffic IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROUNDABOUT with his flashers on, inches from driving directly into us.
-A guy driving backwards in the innermost lane of the freeway.
-A guy driving backwards in the outermost lane of the freeway.
-A guy driving down the median of the freeway.
-A guy knowingly turning into a one-way street going the wrong direction. This one involved me honking and directing until he backed himself up down the street from which he turned then continuing down the road in the correct direction.
This was all punctuated not in a car but on a plane. As we landed in Istanbul, five people stood up and walked right down the aisle to the front while we were still taxing at breakneck speed falling a bumpy landing in the middle of a thunderstorm. The flight attendants did nothing but I found this incredibly dangerous for them and for the rest of us. They were opening the overhead bins, moving bags, and shouting that they had a connecting flight so they just had to get off quickly.
Perhaps the lack of rules or lack of enforcement of rules in the cultural norm and that's okay as long as it doesn't involve a motor vehicle or a Boeing 737. Somehow I think that's reasonable.
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