There’s nothing like driving on a freeway at night, particularly when you’ve just spent hours ploughing through the countryside. If you hit the far edges of the city at around 10pm, you’ve nailed it. You’ve missed peak hour by a long shot, and there aren’t too many other drivers cramping your style – just the occasional nocturnal traveller like yourself. The neon lights have come on, and everything looks like a comic book, especially if it’s raining.
This is by far the most pleasant way to return to Malvern. Auto repair experts might have something to say on this, like that I’d find it more pleasant if I came in for that tune-up I’ve been putting off and replaced my air conditioning system. But for me, it’s not about the car’s state of repair. It’s about the ambient atmosphere, and I’ll take the gentle glamour of an after-dark passage into town over a smooth ride any day.
According to my friends, that attitude is going to get me into trouble one of these days. All it takes is worn-out brake pad or an unchecked engine fault to create a situation that compromises not only my safety, but that of other drivers. That’s what they say, anyway. But I’m not queuing up to book a car service. Prahran drivers can handle themselves on the road, and besides, I’m not about to suddenly spin out of control just because I skipped an annual service. That’s not how it works. It’s not even, like, a rule. Not that I’d follow it if it was.
If I had my way, there’d be no rules and regulations whatsoever around driving. That’s how they do it in some other countries, and everyone’s incredibly good at driving as a result. I know that I have to keep my head down and play by the road rules here in Melbourne, but I can’t help being aware that people would drive better if there weren’t any.