Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Blanket THANK YOU to Seattle 's Very Polite Drivers

Late this afternoon, right in the middle of the heavy evening rush hour, I was heading home from a doctor's appointment (where I'd just heard that my affliction is likely stress-related... but that's another post) on one of Seattle's main thoroughfares. Just as the light ahead of me was turning yellow (and then red), I made the snap decision to try to avoid the traffic I'd just noticed directly ahead of me, and to turn into the left turn lane and go around the mess. I quickly turned the wheel to move into the left turn lane, hoping to quickly make the turn, but but there was neither time nor distance enough and I ended up stopped diagonally across two lanes -- one of which by this time had a green light.

Unfortunately because of a rash (and definitely stupid) decision on my part, I was now blocking people from driving straight ahead. It was the evening rush hour and drivers undoubtedly wanted to get home after their long days, and there I was -- sprawled across both lanes, stopped dead, and blocking a whole long line of cars behind me. I can only imagine that there must have been a hundred drivers behind me as I sat motionless, blocking two lanes. My face grew hot and red and I wanted to disappear, but all I could do was stay where I was and take the collective wrath that was surely heading my way. Right?


Would you believe that, in the three minutes or more it took for the traffic lights to cycle to the left turn arrow, not one person honked? Not one! Instead, they drove around me one by one, passing into the only available open lane, and went on their way through the green light. No one honked, no one flipped me off, and as far as I can tell, no one spazzed out at my spazziness.

Seattle drivers, I love you! You rock completely in your graciousness and patience, and there's no other city in the world in which I'd rather drive on a daily basis. The skies can be cloudy and gray around here, but the drivers in Seattle are pretty damn sunny and very, very bright!

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Goofball said...

I once told you that a couple of flemish bloggers would move during 3 months, because she's a docter and will work there in a famous hospital or something.

Well anyway, it's very interesting to read their adventures in Seattle now. They are very postive and have mentioned the courtious drivers already multiple times. they can't stop being amazed that traffic stops for them when they try to cross the street as pedestrians (they love walking and walk their groceries 3 kms without any problem).

they also point out the American habit of asking any stranger on the street "hey how are you doing, where are you from"...we Belgians don't start conversations with strangers on the street.

If you find a online translater, you might enjoy:



Anonymous said...

Wow! That might happen here. Well maybe it would. Once in a while. Well no, really it probably wouldn't. We are way too close to Chicago.

Anonymous said...

That's incredible! I feel like I've got to visit Seattle now if the people are that nice. Those drivers also probably took the time and could see how discombobulated you were to be sitting there in their way. I bet you've never been so glad to see a light change!

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