Driving on the wrong side

Since we are down under, I suppose its appropriate to drive on the wrong side of the road. 

I was raised where one stays to the right on the road and on the sidewalk.  Look right before you look left.  It is, most commonly, your dominant side.  You are trained to use your right hand, right arm, right foot, right brain in so many different ways.  Why fight it? 

Well, the Brits thought differently.  Perhaps they preferred to shift their cars with their left hands.  I cannot get the hang of it.  I need to pause and look down.  Or they preferred to look over their left shoulder when in reverse.  This could be the worst part of driving on the left.  Also, right hand turns have a new meaning: life or death.  After driving for 5 days, within a 5 square kilometer radius I might add, I cannot parallel park, I cannot drive at night and I cannot find my location without turning around at least once.

Let’s add to this.  Intersections are not normal 4 point intersections.  Yes, many are but many are not.  They are round-a-bouts or circles.  Being from Jersey, I know how to manuever circles and appreciate their regard for traffic flow.  However, are they needed at every neighborhood intersection?  It’s funny and makes driving on the left much more of a chore.  I found myself white knuckled, hands at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, holding my breath for 3 kilometers yesterday.  Breathing is important.  Must breathe.

Urban lifestyle is known to wear down cars.  Parking is scarce in many neighborhoods and parking on your home property is a luxury.  Our car barely fits in our “car park”. 

The previous owners devised this contraption made from a buoy, rope and fishing rod.  (My Uncle Bob would be so proud.)  If you want to close our driveway gate you need to ever so lightly tap the buoy.  The fishing rod then waves to the driver.  We wouldn’t want to bump a brick house would we?  Good on ya, mate!

Yes, I have held up traffic and not signaled when necessary.  I’ll get the hang of it, eventually… just before we return to the US.

This entry was posted in American Expat in Australia, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Driving on the wrong side

  1. U.J. says:

    holding up traffic because you are unfamiliar… well, ok. But not signaling… that’s just unacceptable! jk

    This may be a silly question, but… are the pedals switched too? no, right?

  2. Megan says:

    No, the pedals are not switched, thank goodness for that! But when I signal, I mostly turn on the wipers (those are obviously switched) and then get flustered. Oh, well.

  3. Uncle Bob says:

    Way to go Meg. We are proud of you so far, as you have not reportedly wacked anyone. Just think, in 18 months when you are back in the states you will bang some one on the right.
    We have spoked with your Mom and Dad and they say yu guys are getting along well so far, regardless of the driving. Hope your adventure continues well. Sorry about my tardy response, I don’t get to the computer much. In fact Anne is visiting us in Florida right now and that is how I am responding. Your blog is a good idea. We can “get a visit” thru your comments. Hope all you guys have a continued good visit.

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