Friday, April 2, 2010

Sharing the Road

Like many of the other potential driving hazards I've experienced in Croatia, this was one that was never covered in my American drivers education class:  

Let me reiterate: On Croatian roads, the drivers of normal everyday cars are at the bottom of the totem pole.  As we approached this scene, there was no sense of urgency on the part of the shepherds to get their sheep off the street.  In fact, the road was probably the only place for them.  The cars had to go around the sheep, just like they have to go around tractors, wheelchairs, bicyclists, kids, horses, carriages, parked cars or anything else in the middle of the road. 

Of course, in America, drivers would try to avoid hitting any of these things too.  But the difference is that here the road is for everyone.  Anyone and anything is welcome on Croatian byways, whether it's moving (sheep), or not moving (parked cars).  Our job as drivers is to accomodate everyone else's desire to use the road in the way they please.

Am I complaining?  No.  I appreciate the fact that in Croatia I have the opportunity to share the road with a diversity of travelers.  But it's still shocking at times.

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