They really do love it. It’s not like I really do anything to make my ass more appealing to the average Balkan driver, but for some reason, it is a like a flame and they are the moths. I say this because whenever I am driving anywhere in a Balkan country, there is some moron sitting right there on the ass of my car, ready to overtake me at any moment. But while he can’t, he just sits there, ready to rear-end me until he can.
I’m no F1 racer, but I’d rather not spend my time in a car. I don’t like that anymore than anyone else, and I’m usually doing a good number of kilometers above the speed limit anywhere that I am. Despite this, I apparently never drive fast enough, or there is the premise that because someone is in front of you, that they must be passed.
It is true that crappy drivers are everywhere, but it’s the mentality of these crappy drivers that gives me pause. You see, 9 times out of 10, once they pass me, they pull in to a driveway or a shop maybe 200 meters later. It’s this whole, “In a hurry to go nowhere” thing that blows my mind. These guys will risk being a new layer of paint on a bus coming the opposite way just so that they get somewhere 0.5 seconds earlier.
At times, when I am “ambling” along, I muse about what they must be thinking about. Something along the lines of, “Oh crap, why won’t this guy go faster?!! I’m only five minutes early to get to the cafe to sit for the rest of the day! Crap, move! I have my cigarettes out and everything! My kuna/euro/dinar/km is ready for spending! Move! That’s it. You are being overtaken. Yes, I’m doing it. Oh, this feels so good. The wind in my hair as I go 5kph faster than you. Okay, now I’m pulling in to the cafe. If only you were further behind me, so that I could be sitting down, smoking to watch you go by, instead of just turning off the car.”
Or something to that effect. And I don’t want to hear the excuse that people are used to driving like that in the Balkans, so they can handle it. I’ve seen all the little shrines along the road where someone became a memorial. Slow the crap down. There is one thing America has right when it comes to driving and that’s the two seconds distance from the guy in front of you.
Of course it ultimately begs the question in that, if all I see in my rear view mirror is a guy on my bumper, what is the purpose of the rear view mirror?