No, this is not a metaphorical journey.
It’s about actual driving habits.
MC is the affluent district of Maryland, about 20 minutes from the District – the nation’s Capital – and is often referred to as a suburb of DC.
Try and figure that one out.
MC includes Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville, North Bethesda, Bethesda and Chevy Chase – in descending order of affluence, with Germantown being the least- still not bad – and Chevy Chase the most affluent, plus other suburbs around it.
MC is politically liberal – that’s where all the millionaire Democrats live, especially Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Rockville. Now having said that, I don’t mean to imply that they are generous, just socially open to liberal ideology. My favorite Hemingway quote is about the place he grew up in, minutes West of Chicago, Oak Park, another liberal haven, but perhaps not as affluent as Chevy Chase. Hemingway called Oak Park the town of broad lawns and narrow minds.
Maryland has pedestrian safety laws (no pun intended) where the pedestrian always has the right of way. If someone is crossing, say, a six lane road, like Rockville Pike, the main strip traveling North and South, all cars must stop and allow the pedestrian to cross, and drivers are extremely conscientious about applying this law.
Rockville Pike is filled with Mercedes and BMWs – don’t worry, they move at a snail’s pace, and are, if anything, powerful but underutilized engines. So the rhythm of driving on that road is Ritardando. (i.e., gradually getting slow) and there is the risk of falling asleep at the wheel if you are not accustomed to this mournful rhythm.
And if you’re from Chicago, where the driving tone there can be summarized as: Get the fuck out of my way, or I’ll crush you!, driving in Montgomery County can be a stressful and painful experience, where the speed limit is seldom observed. It’s not, as you might imagine, going over the speed limit, but traveling below the speed limit.
I’m happy to say, I have found Chicago’s twin in Baltimore.
Pedestrian right of way? Fuck that! You better duck or get hit. But the most enjoyable part of Baltimore driving habits is their unique interpretation of traffic signals ….
Yellow means Green.
And red means …
Step on the Gas!