What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Confusing the Driver June 29, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Let me start off by saying I love my husband. He is a sweet, smart, wonderful, law-abiding man.

But there are times when the letter of the law differs from the law of the land. Prime example: The rules of the road in Greece.

While we were in Greece on our grand adventure, we rented a car for a few days. There isn’t a great public transit system outside of Athens, so it was the best way to get up to Delphi and Meteora. We registered my husband as our only driver and, GPS in hand, headed north.

First weird thing about driving in Greece, the GPS warns you when there are traffic cameras coming up. It goes deep deep, don’t speed dude. You might actually get caught right here. Not literally those words, but you get the picture. How is it legal for a GPS to warn you about speed traps? Is not getting warned about speed traps just a thing in the U.S.?

So we were driving north, getting warned about traffic cameras, even though my husband was barely speeding. Like American five miles over means you’re doing okay speeding. But all the other cars were racing past us. Zooming past the alleged traffic camera without a care.

The three passengers in the car tried to convince him to follow local custom and just drive in time with the other cars on the road. The husband was worried we’d get a bill for thousands of dollars in speeding tickets and there would be a Grecian warrant issued for his arrest.

So we plodded along, getting passed by literally every car we met.

The three passengers started looking for the supposed traffic camera. Some we couldn’t find, a few we could. It was when we saw one with the cords sliced off I started getting super suspicious about the “cameras.”

Still the husband didn’t want to speed.

That night he went on the internet and searched the usual speeding tendencies in Greece.

Those cameras don’t work. Not even a little. A cabby early in our travels had said, “Ha, they ran out of tape years ago.” We thought it was a joke. Nope they were actually using film and paper to print out the picture of people caught speeding and they ran out of film. With the troubled economy, the government has neither the money to buy more film, nor to upgrade to digital cameras.

I guess it makes sense for the GPS to tell you about the cameras, then. At least the tourists might try to match the speed limit for a day even if none of the locals do.

Needless to say, the next day the husband went native for the rest of his time driving, obeying the one traffic rule that really matters: Don’t hit anything.


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