An aside about driving in Ukraine

There is a joke in Canada about an Eastern European immigrant that had recently arrived that refused to cross at pedestrian crosswalks at intersections - even when the light indicated she could cross. When asked point blank by her relatives why  she did that, she replied that she didn't like how all the cars just stopped in front of the crosswalk - it was if they were waiting for her to cross so that they could aim for her!

Thankfully, this is just an exaggeration of driving habits outside of North America, but there still must be something to be said for the...greater liberties...that our foreign drivers take while on the road.

For those of you who have not ventured out to Ukraine or other parts of Eastern Europe, you must understand that roads in Ukraine are rarely bigger than a single lane in each direction, and that in the immediate region surrounding the House of Mercy, they are not maintained with a dedicated amount of care - resulting in lots of pot holes and uneven surfaces.

There are also few traffic lights to direct and control traffic, and most police members have more important things to do than to direct traffic or chase speeding motorists - though when I asked Sasha and Mark, they said that the police were responsible for administering qualification exams for driver licenses.

All this  combines to create an "anything goes" atmosphere when it comes to driving. Even on a simple trip to the supermarkets just yesterday, Sunday, I was somewhat amazed by the number of maneuvers that in Calgary would have all been considered near misses - and grounds for a stern talking-to from a traffic officer, if not an outright ticket or license revocation.

Still, this also goes to show how hardy the Ukranian people are when it comes to taking everyday risks on the road - and how far God is willing to go to protect his squishy sons and daughters when they come to a foreign land to enact his will.

And on the bright side, we have encountered virtually no traffic congestion since arriving. Take that, Crowfoot Trail!