Tuesday, December 18, 2012

driving on the left

For my final hurrah in Scotland, Shahida and I decided to do something neither of us had done before: a Road trip in the UK. Of course we'd both been on road trips before, but in the good ol' US of A as well as Sweden (and basically anywhere that's not a crazy British place) we like to drive on the right side of the road... So together, with the emotional support of Simon, we rented a car with the driver's side on the right and drove for 3 days on the left side of the road. 

Now, the actual driving on the left isn't really a problem. you get used to that almost immediately (just be sure to stay on the correct side when you're in... say... a parking lot... oops). We would always remind each other which side to be on when turning though, just for a little extra help: "turn into the far lane!" for right turns, and "stay on the left!" for left turns. 

For me, though, the real challenge was sitting on the right side of the car. It's very strange how much your spatial reasoning is disrupted when all the sudden you have to learn to account for half the car being to your left instead of your right. When you focus on the road, you have no idea where you should be sitting in the lane to make sure your car is centered. This resulted in Shahida and I continuously driving too far to the left (which was especially unfortunate when there was a high curb). 

We also established that it's terrifying to be a passenger on the left side. It really feels like you're going to hit everything that's even remotely close to the road. This lead to a lot of terror-inducing gasping. 

But we made it there and back unscathed with only one flat tire (but more on that later). We even managed to conquer the single lane windy roads, master roundabouts (driving clockwise, mind you!), and enjoy some scenery along the way! 


ifs ands Butts said...

ah I so could not do it, I would forget every 5 minutes!

Gabe said...

Aren't their roundabouts clockwise? And US ones are counter clockwise?

emily g. said...

... good call, gabe. Fixing it now. Also, practicing my right from left.

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