Today's columnist, Tracy Annenberg: I like these smooth operators
I nearly didn't get to write this. Driving into town last week I made the foolish mistake of presuming that a car coming towards me would stay on the correct side of the white line and let me have my side of the road to myself.
Rookie mistake, not the act of someone who’s lived here for more than a decade.
As a result I had to hit the horn with some force and take, er, evasive action.
The loud blast and the sight of a car swerving towards him scared the living daylights out of a passing pedestrian.
He jumped so high in fright I thought he would end up over the roadside fence and down the steep drop the other side of it.
As so often happens, the person who nearly caused an accident disappeared with no acknowledgement of fault and the pedestrian and I were left shaking and in need of coffee.
I tell you, in Wellington, daily driving – and walking alongside roads – requires nerves of steel.
At least it isn’t compounded with bad road surfaces.
While I could quite happily give chip seal a miss, especially when cycling, at least potholes don’t last long here.
Friday at 4.15pm is not when you want a council truck to pull up outside your house and proceed to scrape the top layer of road surface away, leaving an uneven dent with a three-inch, suspension-nobbling, edge around it.
Even less you want to then watch as, 15 minutes later, the truck leaves.
Great, right outside my garage door. When will that be filled in?
The answer came quicker than I thought: another 15 minutes, another truck arrived, tossed down a load of steaming tarmac and rolled over it a few times with a heavy cylinder.
The whole exercise had taken less than an hour.
On a Friday, as close to clocking-off time as you could get.
By then even I’m winding down and looking forward to that end-of-the-week beer, and I work in a warm office.
If multiple layers and a high-vis vest were my work uniform you can bet I’d be putting that job off until Monday morning.
I confess to being pleased that the roads are so well taken care of.
Dodging cars coming directly at me is challenge enough – at least I don’t need to worry about avoiding potholes.