You guys remember how I failed my road test/driving test the first time in this country? I wrote about it here. Well after a second attempt, I passed in flying colors (to the glory of God and his son Jesus). I was issued my G2 license that allows me to drive on any expressway here but would require me to apply for a full G license in a few years time. My 2nd drive instructor who helped me pass the road test even said if he had met me earlier, he would have advised I apply directly for my full G license. As per JJC things unfortunately, I didn’t know this initially & my 1st drive instructor was out to get all my money.
Anyway, with my G2 license I can drive on major expressways and drive I did last week in the most interesting circumstance. An acquaintance I met here needed someone to help her with school runs for her kids for two weeks while she is away from home. As I’ve wrapped up school for this semester, it was a perfect opportunity to improve my driving skills, so I jumped at it. For the last 8 days, I’ve been driving about 60 kilometres to/from Brampton & Mississauga. It got me reflecting on the major differences between driving in Lagos and driving in Mississauga.
1. The traffic lights actually work ?? I mean they are not there for decoration, and the time lapse between the lights makes sense for the amount of traffic and accommodates pedestrians walking across the major roads.
2. These days, I’m startled when I hear someone honk behind me. I legit can count the number of times people have honked at me and it’s not like people are not in a hurry here oh. They are, but I have to imagine that they understand that car horns are not musical instruments and they are to be used sparingly with wisdom.
3. Can we just take a moment to marvel at the absence of ‘potholes’ and ‘manholes’ on high traffic roads? Walahi this has to be the main reason people relocate their families to Canada ??. The roads are not perfect but they are smooth enough for me to cruise through in my 2018 car rental ???
4. People driving behind you actually pause and allow you switch lanes when you trafficate/indicate where you are going. This one actually tripped me oh. Because I’m unfamiliar with the driving routes in the GTA, I’ve been using my Google maps A LOT! One time I was supposed to make a left turn and I didn’t realize until I was at the turn, on a different lane. I switched on my indicator and paused for a few seconds wondering what to do and the car behind me waited for me to slide left in front of her. I was positively stunned and very thankful.
5. Last week Thursday during rush hour traffic, I was on the 403 express way, heading to Brampton and to my right there is a lane specially designed for drivers with one or more people in their cars. That lane was free while the rest of the lanes were thick with slow-moving traffic. Though I saw a few cars that didn’t have any passengers speed past on that right lane, a lot of us stayed put in the cramped lanes slowly moving along in traffic. I couldn’t help but imagine if I was in Lagos, how crazy things would have gotten really quickly.
It’s safe to say my anxiety levels with driving here have reduced a great deal, in comparison to Lagos. These days, I have zero issues driving next to a trailer on the express way here. This might be more on a psychological level, but the trailers and trucks here look more road worthy; they are not overloaded; a lot of them obey traffic rules and you will not feel bullied driving in between two trucks because everyone maintains their lanes.
An ex-colleague and I were chatting a couple of days ago and he asked me how I was settling in Canada. My answer to him was binary- some things are far easier here while other things are harder. Driving a car on the highway here is definitely wayyy easier.
If only we could aspire to this level of sanity in Lagos, what a glorious life that will be.
Have you driven on the roads in Canada? What has your experience been driving in other parts of the world? Do leave a comment and share below ???