By Louis the Scooterer
Stinking cigars and running out of fuel = not a good start.. but it gets better….
The other morning…After having an early coffee at the square, and being chased away by the smoke from a guy smoking the stinkiest cigar I’ve ever smelled..pheeew.. he was sitting 2 cafes away !
SO… I was on my way to MyPoP, but I didnt get there. My scooter ran out of fuel, but lucky for me it was only a few hundred meters from my spare “bottle of petrol”, so I took a slow walk to my apt. but t’was hot and no crazy driver offered me a ride.and I admit I did not feel safe on the sidewalk. I feel safe sitting here at the keyboard…writing this.
Here I wanna draw your attention to the fact that I see so many SUVs wherever I go, (why do they have block capitals)(we dont refer to a SEDAN or a TWO-DOOR COUPE). I don’t scoot to a busy road to stand around and count cars and take pics, or arrange carposes for my camera.These suv’s are just everywhere and I believe they give birth to other suv’s, and multiply.
I need to get this off-my-chest so I have brought here another story I wrote recently about SUVs, where I mentioned at an earlier time, that I may have seen 1 SUV in a few hundred vehicles..NOW I am seeing 3, maybe even 4 suv’s in every 10 vehicles (yes 30 to 40% of vehicles are suvs.), so dear reader, be a little patient and read on.
On the street where I live.. AND EVERYWHERE IN ISRAEL. I won’t mention the names of these vehicles as I have no favourites, but I know which one I would like to own ?
When I first arrived in my new city end of 1999, I saw a rare 4 x 4 jeep type station wagon..and that always driven by a male..I secretly wished I could own one and I believed the SUV was driven by an expert driver.
“A couple of years later”……The 2 farmers that I met on my scootering travels invited me at different times to ride with them as they showed me around..they did not know each other, and the one farm was in desert in the far south..and the other in the hills in the north. Both showed skill the way they handled their vehicles..the ride in the north was on a rainy day with water running on the road (sand track) and he negotiated the mud and rocks with great skill and I secretly wished I could own one.
So, I began noticing these jeep-type 4 x 4 vehicles, and as I began seeing the quantities that I saw in the city, the more I realised how wrong I was in assuming that the mostly male suv drivers were good drivers. They were mostly BAD drivers, doing all the wrong things that bad drivers do in all kinds of vehicles here in Israel…the usual ???
SO we jump to the present time.. NOW NOVEMBER 2008
I now see hundreds of these smart, very big 4×4 jeep-type family-size mini-buses every day, on every road in the city, and in the quiet neighborhoods where I scoot along singing my song..and on every major highway and all other roads as well, and MANY of them are driven by very bad drivers. I notice too, that many are driven by females, some of whom cannot see over the steering wheel..and these high powered (SUVs) are being used mainly “to go to the supermarket” and “to take the children to school”..and maybe the rare occasion will be used at the farm, or in the mountains or the desert roads. (A very important NOTE.. I do not wait for women drivers to pass me “they come into my view” more so, than men do.)
This disturbs me a great deal, as so many of these (big and high) vehicles are driven at speed through the quiet narrow streets, and clearly most drivers of both genders have NOT sufficient skills at being in charge of such a powerful vehicle. On (one) short scoot of 6 minutes and less than 3 kilometers..I saw 7 such vehicles, and on return a couple of hours later on the same road..I saw ten..also there were 3 in the parking lot of the place I was at.
SO..many of the crazy drivers here in Israel do ALL the wrong things..but its a fact that more female drivers than males, come into my vision while I scoot around, and now I have become more nervous than ever.
NOTE PLEASE,that in 8 1/2 years I have scooted all around ISRAEL, and have travelled more than 100,000 kilometers (yes ..one hundred thousand) on scooters (now on my 9th), plus a few more thousands of kms. in a rented car for one month during the rain season. SO.. my observations have some merit and are not aimed only at female drivers. I reckon that the accident rate will jump out of control unless these thousands of SUV drivers are forced to have driving tests for skill, and made aware of what power they have while behind the wheel..merrily smoking and talking on the celfone while they speed to the supermarket.
Many hundreds have small children as the passengers while they make u-turns without looking, and enter the traffic flow without looking, and open the drivers door without looking. Oops they do look in the mirror when they flick their hair into place, and what they do really well is honk the horn very loud and very often, and for no apparent reason !
I have mentioned in several writings, and letters to the press, and many “talkbacks” in newspaper articles about accidents and bad drivers that many female drivers (more so than males) have an obsession “to get in front of a two-wheeler…no matter what”.
This very dangerous action has NOT changed, and in fact has gotten worse, especially on a particularly dangerous curve on the narrow road, through a quiet neighbourhood..that I scoot on daily. Many seem to see this as a wide straight beautiful road that is inviting them to put their foot on the accelerator and GO.. OVERTAKE, and get in front…NOW ! !
I mentioned this to a lady driver who parks her SUV in the basement parking where I live, and when I asked her to explain why so many women drivers of ALL types of vehicles need to overtake to get in front..she said she did not do that..her answer really frightened me when she added “Maybe they dont see you! !” (I usually wear a white top when riding my bright red scooter so as to make myself “more visible”?)
Another lady I know piped up with “they can see your broad shoulders and back, maybe they want to see what you look like” ! Another woman who also rides a 2-wheeler said I should not allow them space to pass..but thats not a good plan when they sit 1 meter behind on my tail. My friend with the giant monster Harley says they dont try to get in front of him ! maybe I should borrow his Harley
My other “friend” who rides a police motorbike with blue lights also says they dont try to push in front of him. SO..usually my stories have some humor, but I find nothing funny in this very serious ongoing saga and of course most of these monster SUVs are fashionably black, which is slightly more frightening than other colors.
Oh well, it seems as though I will never have one..as it is fact that one of these high powered 4×4 jeep-type family-size mini-buses costs the same as 46 (yes fourty six) scooters of the type I have currently…maybe 30 scooters I could buy a lower price (badly used) SUV. They have exotic names like Tuareg, Cheyenne, Savanna, Uplander, Sorrento, Tucson, Rodeo, Liana, Trailblazer etc. and my guess is that every motor manufacturer on the planet makes a top notch SUV, especially designed and modified and raring to “go to the supermarket”? I even know one woman who drives her suv less than 400 meters to the gym, so that she can exersise by walking on the treadmill.
I have seen thousands of all types of vehicles with only one red brakelight working..and have also seen several of these brand-new 4×4 SUV’s that has only one red brakelight working. Since most of these drivers will speed merrily along with their eyes half open and not looking where they drive, and they will not be “hanging up their keys” and retiring from driving..perhaps I should modify my scooter and do my main travelling from “under my blanket”. I want to stop counting suvs so eff the soovs, and I wanna start looking at the scenery or beautiful women, like before.
On the way home I saw about 70 women, all shapes and sizes, all ages, on a walking tour of the cliffs and interest points near to where I live…thats another story, and thanks for reading, and please email to firstname.lastname@example.org