8.12.2008

Adventures in Driving

We took the girls to the Marriott Hotel for brunch on Sunday. I drove. And I scared the daylights out of Matt and myself. I figured that there was never going to be a good time for me to practice, so in order to curb my fears, I needed to just jump in and do it. It is very different driving with the steering wheel on the right and the traffic on the left; it's not as easy as it looks. Everything is backwards, and as such, I must have turned on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal at least 5 times . I only drove about a mile, but those 5 minutes were stressful. I had to merge onto a busy street, go through a traffic circle, and make a u-turn. It's not just the driving that's nerve wracking. It's the unfamiliarity of driving in a country where rules mean nothing. It's complete road anarchy... where 2 lanes are turned into 5, and every available space around you is filled with pedestrians, animals, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, cars, buses, and trucks, all honking at once to make you aware of their presence.

We survived. That's the most positive thing I can say about my driving.

When we got our car keys back from the valet, I noticed how much the traffic had increased, and asked Matt if he would drive; I couldn't muster enough courage to make the return trip. However, his driving was not much better than mine, and I was a white knuckled passenger and a complete back seat driver on the way home. He stayed a little too close to the left for my taste. I thought he was going to ram into every pedestrian on the side of the road.

I had never been happier to see my driver as I was on Monday morning. I have a pretty good feeling most Monday's are going to be that way.

17 comments:

Simple Answer said...

I commend your bravery! Hopefully it will get easier????

Jen said...

From the sound of what the driving is like over there, all I can say is you have ball girl, big ones. ;)

Mom24 said...

Think of all the money you'll save since you won't be running out very much. That traffic would definitely curb my enthusiasm for eating out and shopping!

You are very brave.

The Mom said...

Wow, brave move, and I hope your brunch was worth it. I would have done the same thing.

So every weekend your driver is off? You have to do what you have to do to keep yourself from feeling stranded each weekend.

I giggled at the "only a mile" but I totally felt your stress. Hope it gets a little better each time!

Heather said...

When we lived in Indonesia, my dad drove once. ONCE.

Donna said...

Sounds too scary. Especially the whole wrong side of the road thing. I guess I shouldn't complain about the driving in Beijing, then?

Danie said...

The jury is out on whether you're brave or nuts :) Glad you made it there sans incident.

Suzanne said...

I've experienced it as a passenger in some Central American countries. We were driving along in an old school bus on the old Pan American highway which is only a little wider than one lane. All of a sudden there was a HUGE logging truck coming towards us. The drivers were playing chicken. Our drive actually had to back the bus up for over a half mile to reach a pull off area to let the logging truck get past.

They should issue blindfolds. Some things are better unknown.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

P.S. I so look forward to your adventures. Our life seems very tame here in Illinois.

Perez Family Spot said...

OMG! I think the whole driving on the other side would freak me out...after all this time of driving American, it would be an adventure trying it on the other side of the world! I am sure the brunch was great though.

Mrs4444 said...

Better you than me!

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

WOW, you are very very brave. I could not imagine all the craziness that was going on around you. I am not sure that I could have done it.

BTW I left you a little surprise on my blog!

Tenakim said...

Good for you!

mary said...

Wow! You know, I'd do the same thing if I were in your shoes - and can I say for the record that I'm glad I'm not? ;) My point is - we're so used to being independent, being able to get up and go, that I know I'd give it a try, too. I'm GLAD you came back in one piece! And it can only get easier, right?

Hyphen Mama said...

In a year it'll be a piece of cake!

Eve Grey said...

You're braver than I am!

Robin said...

This reminds me so much of when Jay and I rented a car in Thailand! Did you ever read my "Traffic Circle in the Road" post?

PS Loved the vehicle photos - we saw 4 people on a jetski yesterday and the first thing I thought of were the scooters in Asia with entire families (and a chicken!) on them.

Heidi said...

Girl, I can't even drive around Dallas, how did you do that? And I live 2 hrs. from Chicago, but will never see it because I don't have to guts to even try there. I just LOVE reading about your newbie experiences.

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