In September of 2001 I was exploring the island of Crete with my friend Laure. We had a great time driving around the island and finding great places to explore and great beaches for swimming.
We also discovered a new way of driving.....the Cretan way! As my tale unfolds please keep in mind that Laure, who learned to drive in Paris where the lines on, and the rules of the road are mere suggestions was as shocked as I at this mode of driving. Suffice it to say that the "Cretan way" is the way of speed, recklessness and a lot of luck!
Here's a typical example. Picture yourself driving along a winding, rural, mountainous road. You are proceeding uphill at about 50 mph, which is a fairly good clip considering the road. Ahead of you are two cars. When the first car in line is about 100 yards from a sharp bend to the left the second car in line decides to pass. I'm not making this up. This was typical. This is the "Cretan way."
I offer the following photo as an example of the types of roads I'm talking about. See the lonely tree? The car that would be passing would be there. The car it would pass would be in the bend to the left just beyond the tree. Crazy, no?
Is it any wonder that we found these roadside shrines everywhere in Crete?
So what does this have to do with driving on the Palouse? Every weekday I drive on a rural highway 15 miles into work. This highway has some turns and hills but nothing like the picture above of the highway in Crete. So I ask you, "Why or why do drivers consistently follow me with a mere two or three car lengths between our vehicles the ENTIRE fifteen miles WITHOUT passing?" As far as I'm concerned if you're driving at 60 mph and you're that close you'd either better adopt the "Cretan way" and pass me or make a pass at me because you're too close!
Suggestion: If you want to get to know me that badly ask me out for lunch or something but I'm begging you, please don't tailgate me for 15 miles. Slow down or move around!
Now, lest hard working law enforcement officers think that I am encouraging drivers on the Palouse, or anywhere for that matter, to drive in a hazardous manner let me say that I am not endorsing the "Cretan way." Please refer above to the pictures of the roadside shrines. Did I mention that they are ubiquitous in Crete? You can see them every few kilometers on just about every road in the country. Obviously, the "Cretan way" is not the best way. On the other hand, neither is driving two or three car lengths behind someone at 60 mph. In my little compact wagon I'll be crushed like an abandoned can of diet soda! Your grill will be permanently fused on the back of my neck; i.e. I don't stand a chance! I admit it, your car is bigger and faster than mine. You win! Just leave me alone.....please....and drive safely. I don't want you to get hurt either.