Road Rage, my experience

Something happened to me yesterday and I still cannot bring myself to forget it or the nastiness that it entailed.

We had left work and arrived at a well known college in Westville with the intention of fetching a first year student who travels home with us.    I arrived, slowed down, my hazards were already switched on and I was out of the way of other vehicles. I anticipated a quick pick up as usual.

I must have been there all of thirty seconds when I heard an incessant, impatient hoot.  The driver of a big blue car had his hand on the horn and wanted me out of the way.  His impatience and upset was evident.  The student had already slipped in, horrified at being the centre of controversy.  As I prepared to leave, one hand up in apology and supplication, he moved across and blocked my exit and my little car was dwarfed.  I thought he was going to alight, march towards me and do his worst.  In a quiet panic,  I hastily locked the doors which were already locked, fearing the worst.  My companion quietly advised me to remain silent which was unnecessary as I was struck dumb. The irate driver rolled down his passenger window and what followed was a barrage of insults, profanity  and disgust hurled in my direction.  It was an unexpected racist onslaught and my first experience of  road rage. After what seemed like an eternit y when it lasted all of two minutes, he sped off, still protesting and venting his anger on  the hooter.

Almost numb, I realised I had to turn to join the next lane.  The owner of the white vehicle behind me moved forward at the same time, He had an unfathomable look at his face and a half smile. Again, I pleaded with my  hand and made a quick exit to the next lane and passed other cars who had lined up to wait behind the white car,  Chagrined at having been in that situation and a victim of road rage, even when I had clearly done no wrong and publicly embarrassed too, I focussed on the road whilst the occupants of the car where silent.

En-route home, there was silence, the episode had cast a pall on the trip.
THIS was my new South Africa?  This was what Nelson Mandela fought against all his life?  For a short while, the image of our Rainbow Nation was tarnished in my mind. Where was the patience? Was chivalry dead?  Although I had a “Learner” sign on the rear window (for my children when they began their driving lessons), was a good, capable driver, where was HIS tolerance? Where was the milk of human kindness that I practiced and preached?  Is this what the future held for us?   Did he attack because I was a “Learner” driver or a Woman? Twenty years ago, my daughter and I were almost struck down by a white motorist in a previously “white” owned area.

Lately, there was been many racist issues of note, Penny Sparrow with her rants. Who cannot forget the much tweeted episode in the Spur eatery?  I mentioned the upset to a colleague who advised that I should have had the presence of mind to whip out my mobile and record the episode.  It could have been a deterrent and he would have driven away without further ado.  On the other hand, his reaction could have been physical and could have worsened an already volatile situation. As it was, I had a challenging day and his vulgar rant was the cherry on the top.

Still shaken, at home, I remembered all my special people, amongst them, Black, Whites and Indians, and I concluded, that he must have had a bad day. I hoped that he would feel remorse and resolve not to subject another person to that sort of behaviour.

Life is tough for all of us.  We are all battling demons in some manner or the other. What do we take with us when we leave this earth? Not our fancy cars, inflated egos or chips on our shoulders. We take nothing  besides,  hopefully a good name and a legacy of having lived a good, decent and honourable life.

Let us give the other the benefit of the doubt.
Let us continue to be shining examples as Nelson Mandela’s South African children.

Advertisements

55 thoughts on “Road Rage, my experience

      • Arv, which country us entirely safe? You refer to when I was robbed at gunpoint.
        Government promises.
        Fails to deliver.
        People need to survive and sadly resort to underhand tactics.
        In this case, this man was just rude.

        Like

      • Joburg IS a bit more hectic than Durban.
        Then again, it just depends on how much the media wants to broadcast, how much is sensationalism and how much is reality. Arv my friend, so much is becoming political. It is scary. Nowadays when something negative happens, people say, Thank God, you were not harmed,
        HELLO?!
        Yes, I did not lose my life but I lost a piece of my mind, my sanity, a part of myself has been mentally ravaged,
        Why does it have to be like this?
        People say that insurance will cover it.
        NO!, I do not want insurance, I worked hard for what I have, it is mine, You Have NO Right To Take It Away From Me.
        There, Arv my friend, is another blog post, and the way, I truly feel.

        Like

  1. It seems as though racism, bigotry and overall nastiness is rearing its head more and more all around the world. It certainly is in the U.S. It’s easy to say that we should ignore idiots like the person beeping his horn at you. But, like you, it would have stuck with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • In his quiet moments, I pray that he took a moment to realise that his behaviours was uncalled for and was remorseful. I too, am somebody’s wife, sister, daughter. He too, has women in his life, someone could do that to them, how would he feel then 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly Mick, it is.
      So uncalled for when a moment’s patience and a wave of understanding was all that was necessary. Daily, there are accidents, I see at least 3 a day on my travels. That morning, I had seen someone who was run over. A life lost on the side of the road. The driver did not even stop. It was a terrible thing to see first think in the morning and this man’s nastiness in the evening, was just too much.
      Sad that people behave so badly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. How awful! I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I’ve had a few drivers be like that when I’ve been on my bike and it’s positively horrible. And in my case they were just insults and empty threats – there was no racism piled on top of that. That kind of thing sticks with me for hours afterward and the feelings can come back even long after when I think about it again. You handled yourself really well. These days recording is a double-edged sword. It might have stopped it in its tracks or it might have really escalated things. It wasn’t worth the gamble, I think.

    Hopefully the rain has washed most of the bad feelings from your mind as it washed the dust from the world outside. Know that you’re surrounded by good people who care about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Todd, I fear so much for people on their bikes. Some drivers are so reckless and we all have a right to the road. Sometimes, it makes me worry overly much on the road. I always ensure that my phone is nearby, charged, that the petrol tank is full…. just to keep my options open and myself covered in the case of an emergency. Yes, I am happy that I did not record it. That sort of exposure is always double-edged.
      Yes, our much needed rain has been cleansing and a blessing.
      On a happier, positive note, I must tell you that Cape Town now has dedicated cyclist lanes… How exciting is that, that they see the need and are working towards improvement?!
      https://www.capetownmagazine.com/city-news/cape-towns-new-bicycle-map/172_22_18360
      https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/city-of-cape-town-spent-r158-million-on-cycle-and-pedestrian-lanes-13106538

      Liked by 1 person

      • What great news about the bike lanes. I know that they can be a contentious topic but for me, whether I’m driving or riding a bike, I always prefer them – especially the physically protected ones. They make things safer as a cyclist and much more predictable for drivers. It stresses me out to drive in the city when cyclists are about because I know just how much responsibility I have for their safety.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I knew that would make you happy. I remember here in Durban when a cyclist lost his life, I was devastated for him and the media reported it extensively. I always pray for their safety and when I drive, I’m extra vigilant.
        PS. How’s all that Garden Route Scenery to look forward to when cycling?😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is horrible Kavita! I’ve seen this kind of thing in Johannesburg where I live, but never been quite in the middle of something like this, other than drivers tailgating me in an endeavour to get past me at any cost. Very unpleasant. Hope you are ok

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeepers. No matter what condition his mind was in, there is no excuse for this type of aggressive behavior. Many times people feel, because they are in a car, they are somehow bigger, shielded and have freedom to bully. Yet, in you were in a market with a shopping buggy they might never think of bullying. It is outrageous. I believe you were protected in this case. God’s grip.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am sorry this happened. I do hope you are not feeling jittery anymore. I have seen bullying in inherent in us and patience on roads is one virtue that we have discarded into the ocean. It’s saddening to read about increasing instances of racism all over the world. I wonder where are we headed. All we can do is hope and believe.

    Like

    • My friend, Besides hoping and believing, we need to make a concerted effort to review our thinking. We need to think before involuntarily reacting.
      And practice some patience with a good dollop of kindness. Karma too needs to be considered.
      I send warm regards from a beautiful South African mid morning. Perfect weather to head out to the beach. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sadly, such is our beloved country. I’ve experienced impatience, rude gestures and even someone spitting on my car (ugh) in the UK from where I came 7 years ago. However, nothing which compares with some South African drivers. Rise above it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for following my posts. Such behaviour is ubiquitous. This afternoon a van drove into a box junction in front of us and blocked us from being able to turn right. I looked flabbergasted at the brazen cheek of the two men in the van. They just laughed at me, but I looked away, so as not to give them satisfaction. There would be no respect for older people either. Inside a vehicle, these types can vent their savage and brutal instincts. Once people gave others consideration for minor mistakes. Now one feels that one could be ripped, limb from limb, for something rather trivial, such as obeying the speed limit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I am simply flabbergasted at this sort of behavior. What has happened to manners? Out the window obviously. No regard for human civilty, Yes, sadly we must figuratively turn the other cheek for everything seems to be on a downward spiral 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It was a tragic Incidence. It happens sometimes on road. May be the person was a racist. It is equally possible that he was having a bad day. This Incidence was the last straw that broke camel’s back. I am sorry you had to face it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Manners maketh man… | Sunshiny SA Site

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.