By Leona Thomas
One thing you notice if you travel a lot is that the standards for driving are very different in other countries from the UK. But it is not just the driving that is shocking. It is the condition of the vehicles themselves too!
In Morocco in 2017 I was in a small town called Temara and it was the beginning of Ramadan. This was a town with no tourists so there were no cafes open to serve any kind of drinks during the day but it was still possible to get into a supermarket and buy water.
The problem was that the supermarket was on the opposite side of a busy road and Moroccans don’t stop for pedestrians. It is not their thing.
So I did what I had seen all the other pedestrians do.
I stepped down from the huge kerb into the road itself and stood waiting for a gap in the traffic. There were two lanes of traffic on both sides of the road.
Less than a minute after I stepped off that 12 inch high pavement (sidewalk) I watched with interest as a large white taxi changed direction and steered straight towards me.
I assumed the taxi was stopping to drop somebody off because I could hear a terrific noise of screeching metal yet there was little sign that the battered white Mercedes saloon was actually slowing down.
But it was definitely driving straight towards me!
I stood watching its imminent arrival, wondering if I should prepare to jump out of the way. I felt no fear. It was as if I was an observer from some other perspective.
The high volume screeching of what was left of his brakes came closer and closer. Less than a minute had passed but it seemed to be lasting forever. It was almost a slow motion event - but there was not enough slow in the motion of the taxi as it closed in on me!
I waited calmly. It was too late to jump out of the way now.
Finally the taxi stopped.
I looked down at the front edge of the car and discovered that the bumper was about 4 inches from my legs and the toes of my shoes were underneath the car.
I looked up at the taxi driver.
Our eyes met and I roared with uncontrollable laughter.
It was the best fun I had had since arriving in Morocco and it was funny enough to keep me laughing all the way across the road, through the car park, inside the supermarket and then all the way home again too!
When I looked back on the incident I was surprised I had no fear at any point. I just stood watching my impending doom with great calm.
And that is what saved me.
Had I let fearful thinking take over I would have had to jump out of the way to save my legs. It was the peaceful vibes emanating from me that created the safe outcome in my experience.
More fun with taxis in Morocco
How hard can it be to stop a Petit Taxi?
Well that depends on who's stopping it...!