I haven’t done this for a while but for the last two days I have had the joy of driving into Penzance and walking up and down the main shopping street, Market Jew Street.
Upto the middle of July I drove in and out of town two or three times a day. The journey from my house each way took less than 5 minutes and was usually incident free. Because of all the holiday traffic yesterday driving in took me 25 minutes and another 25 minutes on the way out. It is less than a MILE! Cars everywhere and mostly all driving in a pretty random fashion. Cars came at me from all sorts of odd directions and angles. Or stopped suddenly. Or turned across me unexpectedly it was like being on the bumper cars at the funfair. It was amazing that I did not see an actual crash but there were quite a few near misses.
Driving up Market Jew Street, which is one way (unless you are a taxi or a bus), I was nearly rammed two or three times by confused looking holidaymakers. All the while I had to watch out for pedestrians who had decided it would be a good idea to just wander out into the road without looking in any direction but straight ahead, to get over to a shop on the other side of the road.
When I eventually found a parking place I ventured on foot down the shopping street. I wanted to walk from the top almost right down to the bottom. Normally this would be a comfortable 5 min stroll. It took me 15 minutes!
People on holiday do strange things when walking in front of you. They decide it will OK to walk V E R Y S L O W L Y three abreast so that you are forced to take your life in your hands and step onto the road which is full of kamikaze holiday drivers. Or as you walk up behind them and slightly change direction to go past them they decide to swerve into your path. Three times today someone decided to slam on their emergency walking brakes and stop dead in front of me forcing me to crash into them. Maybe they think that the people of Penzance are ‘crash test dummies’?
The worst incident yesterday though was a tourist who decided to turn very quickly across my path whilst wearing a massive rucksack which caught me square on the shoulder, ouch! I looked at the man expecting an apology but there was no reaction, a complete poker face, I don’t think he even knew what had happened.
Now of course I have been on holiday many times but I am CERTAIN that I don’t behave in this way. Maybe I do, who knows? But I certainly hope not. It seems that the tourists I have come across in the last couple of days are either drunk (unlikely) or have decided to leave their brains and common sense at home.