09 November 2012

[9] non-sequitor

Today's non-sequitor being that I just cannot do that flip-up thing with the rear view mirror in my car. It just doesn't work. Whenever I do it, I end up adjusting the mirror as soon as I need to see what is behind me, with the result that I have now bent it so far down that I might as well have not flipped it up in the first place.

This is bad news when you drive a little bitty car and there are many huge vehicles with very bright headlights that shine straight into my eyes.

It is a fortunate thing that I spent two years driving in Rwanda, where everyone drives with their bright beams on. After the first three or so months, during which I just had a headache every time I had to drive in Kigali, I got quite used to it and learned how to look not-quite-at other vehicles so they didn't blind me.

One time, driving from Rwanda to Kampala with two other Americans, my coworker E. and college student S., we hit the last, busy piece of road just after dark. The lorries barrel down that narrow, crumbling road with their bright beams on and without any consideration for smaller vehicles. I was driving my US style Land Cruiser on the British side of the road, so I was not really in a position to see where my car ended over in the middle of the road and where the lorries began, and if I looked for one second at their lights, I would have been blinded. The only possible thing to do was avert my eyes from the lights and fight to keep the truck into some approximation of my lane without falling off the abrupt edge where the rains have washed away the dirt along the side of the road, hoping desperately that no pedestrian would get too close.

I had a headache that night.

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