Saturday, December 08, 2007

Driving by Mirrors

I have acquired an interesting skill from years of driving around my neighborhood. I can navigate by mirrors.

This is what a typical corner looks like -- narrow with tall mirrors that sport signs under them reading, 'Be Careful!' The streets are so narrow in fact that very rarely can two cars pass each other. That passing thing is another skill altogether. One I had almost mastered when I got a bigger car.

You must cultivate ninja-like awareness to be able to spot oncoming vehicles all the way a long street. But what really sucks are intersections. Invariably, you'll have some toddler, some elderly man or some teenager thumbing her cell phone dart out in front of you. Not to mention cars. To help prevent accidents at these intersections, where houses and fences are built so close to the road that you can't see around the corner, we have mirrors.

Here's a mirror reflected in a mirror.

And here we have three mirrors on three corners. This is the usual set up.

The trick to driving by mirrors is to know which mirror to look at when you get to a corner. And that means not to mistake your own car for an oncoming one, which is easy to do. I remember the time I sat there all day waiting for a car I could only see in the mirror to hurry up and pass. It just sat there! I could see the driver was getting frustrated obviously waiting for me to pass first. She began hitting the steering wheel, yelling. Yea. It was me.

But once you've mastered that it's pretty much smooth sailing. Except on frosty days or rainy days when the damn mirrors fog up and you have to close your eyes, say a prayer, and go for it.

It's a little difficult to judge just how narrow the streets here are. I was lucky enough to almost get hit by a car. But I got the shot!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Flash Fiction Carnival Ⅲ

Thanks so much to everyone who commented. I had to take the piece down for now. But looking forward to the next FFC.