what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

romanian drivers

Having driven around Europe April-June - through nine countries - (and experienced the habits of caucasian and central asian drivers) I think I am entitled to make some generalisations about driving habits. The combination in Hungary of their strung-out villages and speed limits make driving there very frustrating. People are just too slow and cautious. Across the border - in Romania - you meet the opposite extreme - aggressiveness on a scale I have never encountered and feel is growing. I try to make sense of it culturally - Romania has reinvented itself in a more radical way than its neighbours and its younger generation has made superficial, American worship of money and conspicuous consumption its trademark in a way you don't notice in the rest of central Europe or Balkans. The testosterone level of the Romanian male seems pretty high - and finds strong expression in their cars. They will tailgate you; flash as they approach; dart in and out of lanes; and drive on the opposite side of the road around blind mountain corners. The last trick is becoming even more frequent.
The policy advisers and think-tankers who write so eloquently about nudge and steer in their attempts to ensure policy tools can more relevantly affect social behavious should come to Romania and help create an effective framework to change these driving habits.

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