Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today, I need to write about something that is quite an adventure.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is not easy.

It has been hard enough walking with traffic on the opposite side.  You look for cars to be coming in the lane near you, you think it's clear, then you realize you looked the wrong way.  ACK.

I have to be extra careful with the kids.

But that's a piece of cake compared to getting in the car.  That has all kinds of problems.

First, the steering wheel is on the wrong side.  So you have to get over your lifetime of training on where the drivers side is supposed to be.  This is not easy.  Even when you're just a passenger.  

Then after opening the wrong door, you walk around to the other side and you get in the driver's seat.  And you reach for your seatbelt over your left shoulder.  It's not there.

You go to put the car in gear with your right hand.  There's nothing there but the door handle.  So, you reach with your left hand and put the car in gear.  (Thank goodness that I got an automatic hire car and not a standard transmission!).  

Then, you go to turn your blinker on, and the windshield wipers start.

And you have yet to get on the road.

Once on the road, you have to let go of all your driving instincts.  Because if you try to think through them applied to the opposite side of the road, you will be confused and make mistakes every time.  Instead, you must rely on a different native instinct.  The HERD instinct.  If you just follow all the other cars and try not to think too much about it, you will be good.

But, the first time I got in the car I immediately turned the wrong way into traffic.  After turning around got so turned around that I ended up going the wrong way for two blocks until I figured out my error.  I've been good ever since.


  1. Now I know why I didn't insist on a turn to drive in town! Driving down the open and nearly empty highway is not so complicated. It took your father about three days to accommodate to Wild Irish Roads. Since you are driving less (but the roads are better around Christchurch than in rural SW Ireland), it may take a week for you to relax a bit about driving.

  2. Just be happy that they don't switch the foot pedals as well.

    I found the hardest to be making a right turn, especially when there are no other cars at the intersection for a cue.