As you are all preparing to invade this island where I have found shelter (Frans and Nadine just arrived in Chania by the way), I thought it time to give some friendly advise as to the code of conduct while driving on our scenic roads. So here are a few rules, which — if you stick by them — will get you safely from one point to the other. If you ignore them you’ll get into trouble for sure.
First rule. Ignore every rule-of-the-road that you know.
Second rule. Every Cretan driver makes up his own rules.
Third rule. Nobody knows what the rules are.
With that as a basis, we can begin to establish a minimal code of conduct. Thou shalts copy thy neighbour. Always do what the other native drivers are doing, nomatter how stupid or ridiculous you think it is. It’s your best guarantee for survival. Go with the flow. White lines of paint on the asphalt are just that. Don’t attach any importance or significance to them the way you are used to at home. They don’t mean anything here. They are just decoration. Your playing ground is as wide as the asphalt is. Cretans are bad drivers. If you let yourself be intimidated by the occasional Schumacher-in-spe, you’ve lost the game. You’ve got far more experience than they do. Show them you’re in control. Don’t be aggressive about it, just firm. In a car, a Cretan loses his identity. They are no longer the friendly easy going people you just met in the taverna. They’ve transmorphed into encaged wild animals. Be careful, don’t feed them, don’t play with them. When in doubt, doubt. If you find yourself in a situation where everybody is confused and nobody seems to know what to do, always remember, there is a good reason for this. Don’t be the wise guy! Be patient. The situation will resolve itself in a short while. Enjoy the moment.
If you behave according to the above code, you’ll be safe. Then there is just one rule to obey: FOR CHRIST SAKE, WHATEVER ELSE YOU DO, DRIVE AT THE UTMOST RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! Take that literally, ignoring, as we said before, the white decorative lines. Stick to the side of the asphalt with your right tires as if your live depended on it. Do yourself and the Cretans a favour. These people have to put up with us folks for 7 months ayear. They don’t have all the time in the world. They got jobs to do (taking care of you, the tourists, is one of those). Don’t make life harder on them than necessary. Get out of the way if they want to pass you.
Enjoy your holidays!