Commuting recently between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I’ve noticed some interesting dynamics on the highways. There’s many different characters that grace our roads, and I’ve simplified it to that of a school-yard.
There are the right-lane dwellers – these are the lowest on the proverbial food chain. They stay out of the way, out of the action and don’t want any trouble. They stay out of everyone’s way, and everyone leaves them alone. They tend to putt-putt at a cheeky 80km an hour.
There are the cool kids – they form convoys and pace with each other, overtaking the slow cars, but keeping a general sense of coolness – jetting up the highway at a fast, yet reasonable speed (140 in the 120 zone).
There are the followers – the ones that want to speed but are afraid of getting booked – these drivers will lock onto another car, and mimic it, lane for lane, speed for speed, hiding in the security of another’s shadow. (Fluctuating speeds between whatever their master-car dictates – between 100km & 160km, as long as they can hide behind them).
Then there are the bullies – the 150+ km an hour. The psychotic cars, that god help you if you’re loitering in the left lane. These soul-crushing individuals have a sense of ownership of the left lane, bullying others out with overwhelming high-beaming. A leisurely cool kid may pull into the left lane, to overtake a putt-putting bottom-dweller, when in a flash, a car tears up the highway within millimetres of the cool kid’s rear bumper. They also brake suddenly, violently, at the sight of a speed-camera and often are the cause of near-accidents.
These are the ones, that not only instil fear in the hearts of the weak, the tired, the lone-driver, these are the bullies that bring together a highway of friends, invoke a sense of camaraderie in the rest of the highway, makes the rest of the drivers band together. Cool kids will jet out of the psychotic bully’s way, before resuming pack formation once the wanker has passed.
In life, and on highways, there are bullies, there are friends and there are followers. These are the roads, and I welcome you into my highway posse anytime.