Driving in Savannah

Perhaps the biggest change from last quarter to this one is that now my car (referred to from here on out as Tabitha because that is her given Christian name) is here. This has already saved my ass on multiple occasions.

Tabitha herself is unchanged, save for the substitution of a giant bottle of fake blood in the back seat for a bottle of windshield wiper fluid in the trunk that rolls around alarmingly when I make turns. What is not unchanged, however, is the driving conditions. I would like to address some of these, as they are preying heavily on my conscience.

I would like to first pose a question to 80% of the drivers I encounter on these southern streets: Why don’t you believe in blinkers? I am constantly appalled at the apparently common conviction that turns do not need to be signaled until the driver is halfway through it, to say nothing of those who either don’t know about or don’t believe in blinkers at all. I know I expect a lot when it comes to turn signals (please use it before you start braking), but I don’t think it’s out of line to call for its use when you’re turning.

I’m also concerned about the leisurely rate at which a select few people around here back out of parking spots, but I’m too fired up about that particular issue to talk about it right now.

The other weird thing is how many lanes become turn-only lanes without warning. I didn’t want to take a left onto Victory St., but I did, because I did not have a choice. I get that it’s part of Savannah’s old world charm, but I’m just saying a heads-up would be nice. Someday I’m going to get terribly lost taking a mandatory turn, and honestly I don’t think it’ll be entirely my fault.

Before I continue, I would like to remind my readers that I am from Nebraska, where trees are evergreens and exist only between houses and corn fields as windbreakers. Consequently, driving under the dappled sunlight that streams through the canopy of deciduous trees (because the trees here still have their leaves in January) is extremely distracting. It’s like when I wear glitter mascara and jump every time a headlight reflects off of it. I am unused to such rapidly changing stimuli, so if you pass me and see my head jerking around every time I hit the sunlight, remember that I come from a flat land of grain and soybeans. The only shade we have is when you stand next to a barn.

Driving in Nebraska for most of your life also makes the concept of roads that curve very foreign. The entire Heartland is cut into squares, with straight roads that intersect at right angles. There are no natural landmarks for roads to be cut around. The prairie is unsurprisingly very uniform and whoever made the first roads had no interest in slight turns for the sake of slight turns, so I get really excited when I have to turn my wheel to stay on the same street.

The good news is, I have come to terms with one-way streets. This was not an easy journey for me; I couldn’t tell you why, but there’s something about driving on the far left side of the street that makes me feel sick. I still don’t know the best way to get out of the Kroeger parking lot, but damn it if it isn’t an adventure. As long as I’m headed “toward the water,” as a pair of tourists once put it when they asked me for directions, I’ll probably make it back, or at least know when to turn around.

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