Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stress Levels

A friend whose partner lives in Kuwait said of him recently "He needs to get out of the desert" He is evidently a very laid back, calm guy but seemed very uptight and stressed on her last visit there. Particularly when driving. I think the same is true of my husband. We have decided it's better I drive because I am used to it, and I don't get stressed by it. He sees red. M says things to me like "Boy, you have really got used to driving here, I can't believe you didn't beep that guy" or "How can you let someone cut you up like that" etc. The traffic winds him up even as a passneger. In the UK it used to be me reaching over to honk the horn because he was being too British and polite to let someone know they'd done something dangerous or stupid.

I explain it's a way of not developing stomach ulcers, as I deal with this every day, "you can't let yourself get wound up by it" I say rather primly all too aware that I am normally the Queen of Impatience, the Princess of Panic. I excel at uptightness and stressy reactions. But bizarrely Asia and its frustrations have chilled me out. When driving at least.....

Our 3 yr old said to me yesterday "Mummy you don't run people over do you?"

"No, I don't, it's not nice"

I don't run people over either do I?" queries my daughter

NO, you don't because you don't drive do you? I reply.

Daddy runs people over a little bit doesn't he?"

This we think, was in response to me probably yelling at M to watch out or avoid people, or BRAKE. It's terrfiying for me, never mind the pedestrians. When driving he assumes he can second guess that they WILL stop or retreat, but it seems a dicy wager. Pedestrians are mad, do step right out in front of you, at the last minute, and his mentality seems to be to show them how close they came to dying......

Having been very nearly mown down by a motor bike today because the motorcyclist drove round a car that had stopped for me, I can vouch for the fact that you can't always predict what someone will do, he didn't swerve or break. I leapt back out of the way. If I hadn't, he'd have got me.

So I drive, it's more relaxing for everyone.

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