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Brazil

That’s a human being

The rain poured down when we drove out from a supermarket this afternoon. We passed a line of cars waiting to enter the parking lot. Driving in a busy afternoon traffic, one can easily lose temper. My wife drove and I sat in the back with our son who was asleep in his baby seat. A middle-age woman with a big umbrella slowly crossed the street before us. My wife hesitantly slowed down the car and stopped.

“That’s a human being…”, I said.
“..in the rain”, my wife jumped in completing my words.
“But, I am not talking about her”, I replied.
She looked back to me demanding an explanation.
“I am talking about you! That’s a human being driving”. I smiled.
She took some moments and finally got the compliments. We both laughed.

In the Hague, drivers generally would give way to a walker or a bicycle crossing the street. But it is not easy to maintain such politeness when you are driving in a busy afternoon traffic here in Belo Horizonte, or even worse in Jakarta.

“Happy that your wife is still a human being?” she teased me. A while later we reached the house. “Yes, on the road, I am still a kind human being”, she said while giving way to three pedestrians before entering the gate.

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