The veins in my eyes are throbbing. A sheen of stress sweat shines on my forehead, and I can feel my heartbeat in my temples. Midtown Manhattan in rush hour is—without exception—the worst place to drive a car I’ve ever experienced. An apocalypse in time and motion.
Every other street contains roadworks or diversions; two lanes scythe into one across junctions in a way that seems like a sadistic gladiatorial experiment. Potholes gape. Drain covers sit proud of their flush moorings by three inches, offering up razored steel edges to vulnerable alloy, and drivers abandon their humanity as soon as they step into vehicles. If you don’t know your way—which I don’t—and get caught up in one of the block-shaped diversion eddies, you may circulate until you simply die of nervous exhaustion.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, I’m driving a car worth more than £1 million (roughly P63.4 million) that looks like a couture spaceship. The kind of thing that devours the data of passing mobile phones, causes people to run out into the road to take a picture, punctures local Wi-Fi with a sudden spike of uploads. I could be completely naked roller-skating next to this thing, and would be utterly ignored.