I've written before about the aggressive nature of drivers here. They want to occupy the space you do, regardless of whether you are still in it or not. They also play a game of chicken on the narrow streets, hoping the other driver will "blink" first. With that being said, I'm driving here only when necessary.
I've also experienced random acts of driver kindness. This is the exception to the rule.
The great thing about Vienna is the ease of public transit and the fact that many of the urban stations we use today were designed by visionary architect Otto Wagner. When one walks into an Otto Wagner designed station, the stress of getting from here to there is replaced by utilitarian elegance.
|Grey Day Gorgeous|
All of this leads me to an important warning for my fellow drivers in Vienna.
Beware of what I call the "short stop" stunt. My first experience was with a driver who tried the short stop after I signaled and pulled in front with plenty of space and time to spare. He then sped up and passed me, only to pull immediately in front of me and slam on the brakes. There was no reason for stopping other than a scare or crash. Luckily, the aggressive nature of his pass caused me to start braking before the joker pulled his trick, so we successfully avoided both his rear bumper and an unexpected trip over the banks into the Donau Canal. Oh yes, "we". I had my 9 year old in the car. Well, lesson learned. I promptly filed the short stop stunt away in my mental notes of driving in Vienna.
Wouldn't ya know, it happened again, last week. Pretty much the same scenario, except I was alone and chose the nuclear option. Hell to the yes, I flipped the guy off. The bird. The one finger salute. The finger wave. Fly like an Eagle, American bird.
Well, this guy not only slammed on the brakes, he exited his vehicle and started at me. Believe me, he did not have far to go since I was stopped 4 inches off his BMW ass.
Driver training? What driver training?
Time stood still.
These three things flashed through my mind as he approached:
1. Flip him the Double Bird
2. Grab my phone and Instagram him
3. Dateline Vienna: "American Woman in Mom Jeans and Skechers Engages in Street Brawl with Euro Chic Metrosexual"
While I pondered the options above and gave Mr. Man a "don't mess with me" dirty look, my driving friends came to the rescue in typical Viennese fashion. They started leaning on the horn. I don't think I've ever heard such a beautiful sound. Mr. Man, wind through his hair gel, retreated with some parting words I didn't even understand and sped off.
|Dr. Google Photo|
Well, now I know these things: Be on the look out for the short stop stunt. Viennese drivers recognize the bird and they don't like it (heh, heh). Don't wear Mom Jeans and Skechers, even when alone in the car.