Saturday, June 06, 2009

Keep To The Right

The Chinese do not have the tradition of driving, as we do here in the States. We’ve been doing it for ninety years, as a fairly common thing (well, at least “not uncommon”), while the average person over there still has not had the opportunity.

Witness any tv shots of their traffic protocols. There aren’t any. Or, what do exist don’t seem to be observed and them what are there don’t seem to mean much.

We instinctively know what to do from our earliest years on this planet. Any person old enough to think knows that cars keep to the right, that traffic lights are in certain positions and the colors have important meanings. Streets have lines for a reason and it’s important to wear seat belts and/or child seats.

We have almost a genetic predisposition about these things. But a country where it’s all pretty new will have problems for a generation while they sort it out. Right now, it’s confusing, based on the way it’s been done for ages past; when the little children get old enough to drive, things will be better; their children will be as instinctive as ours are now.

We’re instinctive about our language, but the “English Only” faction doesn’t realize that their grandparents had a learning curve, as well, when they came over from the Old Country. It took a generation or two before they completely assimilated in speech. First, only Polish; second Polish at home, accent at work; third straight English. Cars, speech, air travel all have the “third generation” factor.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph touches home,being a 1st generation immigrant.

What people tend to do is that they adopt and adapt to their new country and toss out everythnig in their past. This is so sad because your kids will never enjoy your culture and consequently lose their heritage.

If one generation loses the language of their parents, it is all over, no matter what they may learn in school later on by studying foreign languages, they have lost their culture and their heritage is in name only.

Exit 318 Québec, Canada

June 08, 2009 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for driving...In Casablanca, he who has the loudest horn has the right of way

Exit 318

June 08, 2009 7:26 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

1) Never argue the right-of-way with someone whose vehicle has more wheels than yours.

2) The right-of-way is something the other guy gives you. If he doesn't give it to you, you don't have it.

June 08, 2009 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way back in 1967, my driving teacher told me if I drove based on an academic understanding of right-of-way, I might find myself arguing my case before St. Peter. It's better to give it away than lose it (and perhaps one or two limbs) in a test of wills.

June 11, 2009 10:40 AM  

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