Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Road Rage

We'd found the house we were going to move to in lovely picturesque Ely, and just had to head back to London to start the packing nightmare.
We'd been joking all weekend about the lack of traffic, and enjoying actually being able to drive a car, not stop start stop start driving in constant traffic like we were used to in London.
We'd bought coffee and I put them up on the roof while I moved my coat from the passenger seat, and climbed back inside the car both of us smiling and happy, a real sense of calm over us both.
I took a sip from my coffee, too hot, always slightly too hot.
We edged out of the car park and into a line of cars at the lights. No more than 6 cars. 
"This is probably like gridlock to them all" I joked  And as I laughed I made eye contact with a man in a white van. He was near the back of the queue, but was the car closet to us as we edged out of the car park, looking to join the flow of traffic. I looked down quickly so he didn't think I was laughing at him, which I wasn't.
A moment later Kat said "What's that man in the van saying?" She continued "He's pointing at us too, what did you do this time?"
"Me? Nothing, I'm not even driving" I  thought for a moment, what could we possibly have done to annoy him?
"I did catch his eye when I as laughing, maybe he thought we were laughing at him?"
I looked up to see him pointing at us and saying something, I couldn't make out what though - back up possibly? 
"He wants us to back up I think?" I say
"I've no need to back up" Kat replies, "he can easily get past me if he doesn't want to let me out"
I shrugged hoping that will placate him
It didn't.
He got more insistent, pointing directly at me, and not at the car. 
What was he mouthing at me?
It now seemed to be "stuff up, or even f*ck up"
"Why would you say that?" I mouthed back at him silently.
"Why would he say that?" I asked Kat
"Why what did he say?"
"I think he said, or rather he called me f*ck up"
Kat laughed"You really upset him laughing at him didn't you?"
"I wasn't laughing at him though, I was laughing about the traffic, you were laughing too, why is he pinning this all on me?"
I was getting irritated now, I thought this would be an idyllic place to live, yet within an hour of deciding this I was being abused. By a white van man, they were just like they were in London, I knew only too well what his type were like.
Is this what life in Ely was like too I wondered? Maybe this is not the place for me after all, I thought people would be much more friendly outside of London.
Then i looked up and he doing something else in my direction?
He was making the pretend glass to his mouth mime, the drinkee drinkee mime. 
He was saying I was drunk, or was a drunk.
This was outrageous. It was the morning, and now he was just getting personal over 
nothing at all.
I couldn't take this anymore, and decided I was going to roll down the window and give him a piece of my mind.
"What on earth are you taking about?" I started, my voice had gone very high pitched so I knew I was really quite cross about this.  "I'm not drunk firstly, and I secondly I don't know why you were pointing at me and shouting, I was just sitting there minding my own business, this is our first day in Ely and I never thought the area would be filled with your type, I thought I was getting away from all that leaving London". 
That would tell him! he'd realise the error of his ways now I was certain.
I suddenly realised he looked really startled, surprised and annoyed by my outburst.
"I was saying coffee cup, there's a cup of coffee on the roof of your car" he pointed at the coffee cup on the car roof.
I opened the door, climbed out and indeed saw Kat's Cup of coffee that I'd accidentally left on the roof when we got in the car.
"Ah" I said
"Ah" he said smugly, realising my total embarrassment.
"Thanks very much for your help" I sounded and felt like a small boy and was sure I was blushing.
"Welcome to Ely" he called out."We're quite friendly here, not like YOUR type from London"
I grabbed the coffee from the roof and climbed into the car, and then pretended to be really interested in something on my phone until we were a long way away.