Every country has them – places that top the list of “the most terrible drivers in the world.” Everyone has their nomination depending on their own experience. From what I’ve seen of Europe, Crete is right up there – second only possibly to Naples, Italy.
Driving in Crete is an annoyance at best and downright dangerous at worst. Either way, it’s guaranteed to elevate your blood pressure. A picture is worth a thousand words but because I have to drive with two hands firmly gripping the wheel instead of my camera, and eyes in back of my head, I don’t get the opportunities to catch some unbelievable moments on the road. Some images I wish I’d captured?
Starting with the dangerous: 1. How about the family of four on a motorcycle – Papa driving with a child on his lap, mama gripping his waist from behind with another toddler on her lap? Add to that three heavy bags of groceries hanging from their arms. And helmets? Oh sure…right there… hanging from the handlebars. 2. Or how about those teenage boys pulling a wheelie on their motor cycle while passing a line of cars down the middle of the road – on a descent. 3. A man driving in his car while talking on the cell phone and driving with his knees so his hands are free to…floss his teeth. Annoying: 1. Sidewalks are for parking – not for pedestrians. 2. “Hazard signal overuse” – basically means if I turn on my hazard lights, I am absolved of all wrong doing and therefore I have permission to stop or park anywhere, anytime I want. Deal with it. Downright funny (as in, did you see that?!): 1. A delivery man on a scooter balancing a crate of 3 dozen eggs as he manuevered over a cobbled street. (Yes – he did make it!) 2. A young man on a scooter weaving through traffic with a cockatoo bird gripping his shoulder and hanging on for dear life.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something else jumps out at you. That’s actually one of the reasons I like living here – surprises around every corner. It definitely keeps me awake on the road. Because I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Those Crazy Greeks and their Driving Machines, I’ll be continually updating this blog post and hopefully will be lucky enough to grab my camera in time for a great photo. And if you have a story of your own about Crete driving, post a comment. We could probably fill a book!