As I said in a previous post, I own my own vehicle, a Mitsubishi small SUV. The next thing that people ask is this – “do you have a driver?” No, I don’t. I drive myself. I would not have it any other way.
As I said in a previous post, in 2001 I had a stroke and was incapacitated for a time. One of the things that the doctor ordered was that I was not to drive. So, my wife hired a driver to take me around where I wanted to go. I really hated it! Personally, I don’t like having somebody else in control of where I go, or even behind the wheel. I like to be in the driver’s seat and able to make decisions myself. It didn’t take long, maybe 4 to 5 weeks, and I fired the driver, and took the controls back myself. This was, of course, approved by my doctor.
I am able to drive fairly aggressively, and this has it’s positive sides. One thing that is positive about this is that if you are out in the countryside driving, there are sometimes ambushes or illegitimate checkpoints on the highways. I feel pretty strongly that I could get out of a situation like this if I was driving, but am not sure that a local driver would be able to do that. I trust my instincts, but not necessarily others. I have had times when I was driving in the middle of nowhere and came upon a checkpoint with people in camoflauge uniforms manning the checkpoint. I looked and determined that I didn’t care for the look and feel, and I gunned it through the area, not stoppping to be “checked.” There have been plenty of other times when I stopped and complied with the Army guys at the checkpoint. But, I want to have the ability to make that choice myself, not be at the mercy of just anybody behind MY steering wheel. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t feel that driving most highways is a dangerous thing to do. I just feel more comfortable when I can make the choice, though.
It is true, though, many ex-pats living here hire a driver to take them around. It’s just not my choice. Your mileage may vary, as usual.