Dissolving: Private code

Many years ago, I drove a car with automatic gear shift for the first time in Tbilisi. To avoid practicing the new technology in urban traffic, first Lloyd came to the wheel. He had long been driving at home, in the States, but never in Europe. At the first intersection, he asked: “What does that red board mean with the white line? Should we stop?” “No, Lloyd. You should not enter.” And then: “And that yellow diamond?” “Highway, we have the precedent to cross.” “How silly. They should rather put a STOP board in the crossing street.” After a couple of questions I asked, suspiciously: “Lloyd, how many pages is your Highway Code Book?” “Well, twenty or so. We do not have such silly boards. Everyone is expected to drive with a sober mind, and in doubtful cases they write it with text.”

In my experience, the drivers in Tbilisi are also led by Lloyd’s wise principles. They do not care much with traffic signs, they rather use private codes: beeps, blinking, hand signals, overshouting. And unique markings on their cars, which are not included in any Code Book, but provide more information about the owner and his intentions than any road sign.

Tbilisi, Jewish quarter. Either he had no money for the last seven, or that perfect license plate is reserved to the Messiah.

The enemy of my enemy

Property protection, Georgian style

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