Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rush Hour

Since last week, I've had to schlep the family to base during morning rush hour traffic.  Hopefully, our second car will be fixed soon, so I can send the boys on their way without me.  Our commute is generally 15 minutes depending on the timing of lights, the amount of cars on the road, and so on.  While it is a pretty typical commute, it got me thinking about how driving really is different here.

Here are some of my observations:

Mopeds & Motorcycles - are everywhere.  I know I've probably mentioned them before, but I cannot get used to how many are on the road.  They dart in and out of cars, drive between cars, and do not limit themselves to just one lane.  The other day I had one moped pass me on the right, and another moped pass me on the left...almost in unison. 

Yellow Lights - Usually a yellow light means that you slow down.  Here, it means you keep driving. Sometimes, even if the yellow light becomes just run it.  

Changing Lanes -  You have to edge your way into the lane you want to change into.  While I love Japanese people, I've noticed that they have a mission on the road, and that's to not let you in even if you have your blinker on.  This isn't a bad thing, its just teaching us to be a little more assertive on the road.

Turn Lanes - I've never really edged out into a turn lane back home, like I have here.  Its really okay to block the intersection when you are waiting to turn into a lane.  Even if the light changes, and you are blocking the intersection, cars will make an effort to go around you.

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