I love driving down Beach Road in the morning, so complaining when my son misses the bus to Hopwood Jr. High is mostly a parent thing. I'm expected to give The Lecture about Responsibility and Being On Time.
The stretch from Garapan to Oleai --where the road is actually on the beach-- used to be my favorite place to hang out. BS of course: before silting. It's soothing to check the tide, the birds, the people, the boats and ships. Strangely, there's not much traffic going South at 7:30.
Not today. The guy in front of me was going 25 or 30 miles per hour. I can deal with that by hanging back so it averages out. In fact, it was a nostalgic feeling, like being stuck behind a carabao cart years 'n years ago. The problem was the cars behind me. I got crowded every time I left too much distance in front of me.
So much for gawking, so I treated it as a teachable moment. In fact, I've got to get my camera into the shop, I could have made a video for a Driver Education class.
To lower my blood pressure, I calmly noted the fool tailgating us. Did I say fool? Hmm, hope not; that's setting a bad example. Even more calmly (desperately calm) I noted the speed-challenged fellow who wouldn't let me pass but sped up so he could wildly swerve into my lane and make a left turn.
Hmm, let's get in the right lane and let the Speed Racers go by. Woops, I almost nailed that guy turning in front of me; at least a three-car collision if I hadn't been watching for a bonehead move. Did you get that, son? Calmly.
Still calm, I explained I had crept into the sidewalk at the Marianas High School light because I had noticed in my rearview mirror that we would have been rear-ended if I stopped in front of the line. Those tourists in the crosswalk have the right of way, I said. Nevermind what I called the guy switching lanes to pass me.
Luckily, he had already 'gotten down' when I pulled up at the No Left Turn sign to leave Hopwood. I vented a little to myself when that, that, that woman pulled up to my right blocking my view of oncoming traffic so she could get five seconds in front of me.
Does anybody actually obey that sign? Is it a real traffic sign? That's similar territory to passing in the bike lane when someone is turning left, we've had that talk too, I think he's old enough. Yes, it's against the law I told him, in fact, it's a question on the Driver's Exam. But no one follows it, including the police.
So the subject didn't come up today (the above happened Wednesday). That must have been a bad day. Today was another smooth, peaceful jaunt along the beach. Well, until we ran into a funeral for the second day in a row.
Why do they run these processions at rush hour, with officers jumping out at every intersection to make things worse? Okay, rush hour is an exaggeration. This is still Saipan. Still, it doesn't seem unreasonable to schedule them a half-hour earlier or later.
Ah, traffic lights. I miss the old days, when people would stop a line of traffic to let someone pull out at a stop sign. That was another sort of aggravation, but it had a certain charm.