Three lifetimes ago, I was on a road trip from Cape Town to Augrabies Falls and one of my most vivid memories from that trip, was the people waving at us as we drove through their little towns. It always struck me, a city chick, as an incredible endearing gesture and without fail, would cause a little tightness in the throat.
Fast forward a few decades and I find myself in the northern hemisphere and in a very strange land. Low and behold, same waving-thing happened to me the other day with just a few minor (!!!!!) variances:
- I was not driving anyplace that can even be remotely called rural unless you squint really hard and blur out the strip malls, billboards and cars milling about.
- I was most certainly not confident on where I was going.
- I was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and on the opposite side of the car of what I’m used to.
- And lastly, I was driving as if I was gently rolling over Faberge eggs.
Tilly the Tank and I (the Jeep had to have a name, you see) were on our way to the shops and after the 3rd fellow Jeep road user gave me the two-finger-resting-on-steering-wheel-wave, I realized that I’ve been accepted in an exclusive little sub-society that I was blissfully unaware even existed. Regardless whether I might be a complete psychotic asshole, I was acknowledged and sorta-kinda accepted into the Jeep Wrangler fold, purely based on what car I was driving.
What would the reaction be if I wave back with less restrain than I have seen from my fellow Jeep-drivers? Instead of the very civil Jeep-wave, really go overboard and wave my arms in the air with a huge grin on my face, possibly even sneak one of my hands outside the car and give them a thumbs-up. Would they contact each other and send out a warning to steer clear of the overtly friendly silver Jeep driver?
The tightness in my throat still happens when I see that two finger wave. Now though, for a completely different reason.