4 September 2007

Driving

August was supposed to be the month when I practised driving enough to become independent on the roads of Naples. I decided on August because it's the quietest month in Nap so consequently there are fewer (crazy) people on the roads. Anyway, August has come and gone and I'm still not quite there yet. I still need a bit more practise, but I'm trying to drive whenever I get the chance so that I can hopefully go it alone soon.

One thing I really don't like is when I'm in traffic and cars are pushing to get in my lane. OH says I must stand my ground and not be pushed out. Must try harder, though sometimes I question if I've got the right mind set to drive here. I'm not sure I'm aggressive enough. Perhaps a mild case of road rage will come to me in time.

Here's a video from You Tube to give you an idea of what I'm up against.

14 comments:

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Oh no!! That looks scary! Is driving at all possible under these conditions?

I love driving, especially here in the Bay Area which is huge, 7 million people! and San Francisco has notoriously challenging topography... but I don't know if I'd dare drive in Italy...

You're a brave girl for trying!

Marmite Breath said...

It took me weeks to get up the courage to drive in Naples. I was pregnant, new to the country, and terrified. But I did it, and the thing that kept me going was that I had to act like I had every right to be there. Hesitation is death, that's what I kept telling myself. It's like in New York City--you just have to act like you don't give a damn and JUST DO IT! Before I knew it, I was driving the Amalfi coast (and thinking I was going to poo myself at any moment out of abject fear, but perhaps that is Too Much Information, yes?)

There. That's my .02 worth.

Michellanea said...

The trick to keeping your lane is that you just look straight ahead (Of course you do technically have to be aware of who else is around you, especially the motorbikers...) and go about your business as if the "furbi" trying to get into your lane were not even there. Just keep moving forward in your lane (no hesitation as someone else said) and they will back off. Yes, it is a bit scary because there is always that fear of collision. :) I don't even think it's about aggression. It's the same thing as not letting someone cut in front of you in a shop. It's the principle. It's your lane - keep it!

Delina said...

Farfallina, I just figure that practically everyone else can do it so why should I be any different? However I also think that most people here grew up with this kind of traffic so part of the coping must be inbred.

Marmite, thank you for your inspiring words. I have to be strong and do it! GGGRRRRRR!!!!

Gil said...

I'm always afraid that I will take out one of the scooters that pass on the right. It seems that they are within a couple of millimeters from the side of the car I am driving! You are young and will master driving in that chaos.

Giulia said...

Just go with the flow. That's what I did when I first started driving here. I'll never forget the time my younger brother was here on vacation and we went out somewhere. We were at a double red light, one turning left and the other for going straight and right. Well, in typical Italian fashion, there was a guy in the "turn left" lane who tried to be slick and go straight when my light turned green (while his still red, of course). Well, I didn't let him through. The manner in which I acted surprised my brother as he'd never seen that side of me while driving before! lol

manu said...

Wow...I am sitting in my living room, I feel sad because of a thing I cannot face and I find your post which exactly shows what I am thinking right now? WOW.
And this is my story: I succesfully passed the driving licence exam when I was 19 (now I am 33). I live in Naples as well. Since I was 19 I have never found the courage to start driving and I had almost given up. Now I desperately need to drive, 'cause I am so bored of catching tube and bus to go to work but I don't know where to start. I think a good idea would be to have somebody brave enough to sit next to me and help me, or maybe I could take some driving lessons....
Delina do you have any suggestions? How could I start driving?
Thanks a lot

J.Doe said...

I don't envy you driving there, but people do,and eventually you'll feel safe and happy driving that agressive way too.

KC said...

Delina, I am in awe of you for trying to drive in Naples. I've already told DH that I never will. I learned to drive in New York, where drivers can be really aggressive and crazy, but like you, I worry that I just don't have the mindset to conquer Naples. I think that if you're courageous enough to try you'll be able to do it. Good luck!

Delina said...

Michellanea, great tip. It is the fear of someone going into the side of me which scares me.

Gil, I really hope I can master it. :)

Giulia, you seem to have it mastered. Well done!

Manu, I think you have to pick a time when you decide that this is really the time when you are going to learn to drive and just do it. You need a reason to drive. My reason is so that I can buy a house out of Naples and generally be more independent. I'm all for public transport, but sometimes it's just not practical. Get a patient relative/friend to sit with you.

J.doe, I sure hope so!

Cath said...

I am still at the stage of being a quivering heap I'm afraid - and there are some junctions here in Bologna where I can not even work out where I am meant to be! I was always taught that if two cars are facing each other and they have to turn they should pass back to back but here it just seems you go for it and the quickest one wins! Good luck!

Delina said...

Thanks KC!

Cath, it does seem to be the law of the jungle ruling I must say.

manu said...

Thanks a lot for your advice, Delina. I now have the motivation I need: I am a public transport supporter but, every day, to go to work, I have to catch the tube+ a bus and it takes me an hour. By car it is 20 minutes ....
I am thinking of buying an authomatic car. Do you it oit could be somewhat easier?

Alyson said...

I've just driven in Spain and the UK. Spain foxed me cos of the wrong side of the road bit, strange traffic signals and a bigger car than I am used to, but I lived to tell the tale!

It was bliss in the UK, nice car, roads I know really well, ahh!

And now I'm back in Florence with no car, just the buses and trains, grr! It's just soo expensive to have a car in the centre!

SO, deep breath jump in car and think how lucky you are ;))