Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Driving in Sykkylven - A Death Race ... of Aging

Every now and again I get in a discussion about driving in Oslo with the locals in Sykkylven. Oslo has a few cars more than Sykkylven; in fact Oslo has 150 000 more cars than Møre & Romsdal altogether.

The argument usually goes like this:
  • Person A: You won’t believe what happened the other day on the road...
  • Person B: Well, at least it's not as bad as Oslo...
  • Person A: Yeah, Oslo is awful. The other day I got lost in a tunnel and...
  • Person B: That’s what I mean. In Oslo you can’t even stop in the middle of the road to read a map.
  • Me: Isn't it better to use public transportation if you don't know where you’re going?
  • A and B: Don't be silly. We've tried taking the buss in Sykkylven many times, driving is easier.
  • Me: OK. Then you need to figure out where you’re going and be more decisive.
  • A or B: Oh no. Those city slickers need to calm down.

I, being a city slicker, am perplexed. When I drive in Sykkylven I get get really frustrated. When there is a 20 meter gap at the intersection, I get on. If I drive through a roundabout I stay in (what I presume is) the correct lane. In Sykkylven the standard is pretty much to wait until there is a mile of clear road in every direction and to stay centered in all roundabouts and cross sections. And of course: Not using your blinker - that would strain the light bulb.

Makes for fun when you're going right to reach the ferry and the guy in front of you is going left. True to word he will be blocking both entrance lanes and waiting for traffic to clear for a mile in each direction before moving on. I've switched to a bike...

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