Saturday, June 24, 2006

Go the Distance: test your international driving skills

Driving in a developing country can be a lot different than traffic patterns in the USA. A fellow worker here once commented that driving in this country is like playing a video game. Since our computer skills limit us from making an authentic video game representation, we have decided to let you play along at home with words. See how many kilometers you earn (or don't). Kilometers are given based on skill level involved in the feat described.

1. You're new in the country and wish to comply with local driver's license laws. Unfortunately, you get different answers every time you talk with the transit department. In fact, you begin to wonder who really knows what the laws are for foreigners. -10 km
2. Police roadblock ahead. However, you are not driving and all you have to do is sit in the back seat and look foreign as the driver presents documents. 0 km
3. You try again to get your driver's license. Unfortunately, no one in the country is able to get one for at least three months due to the transit department not having the updated materials to make them. -5 km
4. You effortlessly dodge sleeping dogs in the middle of the road. +3 km each dog
5. You are driving your sixth car in six months due to personnel changes in the organization and break downs. You forget the car you currently drive has a cow-catcher on the front. You accidentally nudge the car in front while parallel parking. -3 km
6. A road that you frequently travel has suddenly been grated. In fact, they have grated off far more than they will be able to fix in three months. You, however, manage to avoid disaligning your tires on the uneven surfaces. +5 km
7. A small child falls into the roadway as your car is going past. You avoid hitting him. +50 km
8. You are casually able to avoid hitting free-range cattle in the middle of the road coming around a corner. (Cows aren't darting creatures, or you would get more points.) +3 km each cow
9. Some speed bumps are not painted. Some flat parts of the road are painted like speed bumps. You managed to remember which ones are which and where they are the next time you come through town. +5 km
10. You avoid a stumbling drunk in the road. +40 km
11. You avoid a passed out drunk in the road or right by it. +50 km
12. You dodge a non-flagged landslide. + 7 km
13. You dodge a non-flagged landslide after a rainstorm. (You know to expect it then.) +5 km
14. You inch your way into an overfull parking lot, have to get out the passenger's side because they wanted you so close to the next car and leave your keys with the attendant in case they have to move it while you are gone. +10 km
15. You dodge a bus ahead of you who can't decide which lane to be in, so he drives down the middle of both. +7 km
16. The car you now have is great except that the horn has been downsized from Freight Train Rumble to Squeaky Mouse Tweet. -10 km
17. You miss hitting a nun who runs out in front of you. +7 km
18. You avoid hitting a large truck parked suddenly in your lane. +15 km
19. Giant potholes, bags of uncollected trash and brush piles are in your lane. +5 km each
20. You don't end up hitting small barefoot children doing acrobatics in the street for money or food after dark. +50 km each
21. A legless man is on a skateboard in the middle of a busy intersection during rush hour. You miraculously manage to avoid hitting him or another vehicle. +100 km
22. You get caught in a flash flood in the capital. You manage not to lose control of the car, nor to be one of those people seen on the nightly news clinging to trees after abandoning the vehicle. +75 km
How'd you do? Just to spoil your fun as you are counting up your points, we wanted to mention that none of these feats depends on you.

In fact, we know it is only by the grace of God that nothing serious has happened to us. We see traffic miracles on pretty much a daily basis. We are thankful that Ben has quick reflexes and God's hand has been able to get us through some tight moments. (And now do you see why Christine hasn't been brave enough to drive yet?)

So next time you drive down your smooth four-lane divided highway with shoulder and highway patrol, thank God and remember to pray for us. Thanks!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did not mention anyone hauling huge Texas Ranger Ornaments in the back of pick ups. Does that only happen in Texas? We won't be on the four lanes for much longer. We hope and pray yall are well.


12:24 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

This posting definitely must be a Christine original. I don't think I would be driving much either. I love traffic laws! Shari

2:30 PM  

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