I wanted to get over my jetlag at least a bit before attempting to drive. I decided Saturday would be a good day to try in a parking lot, however my husband had other ideas. He backed the car out of the garage and tossed me the keys. I asked if he was sure I could do it, and he was with one big piece of advice - put your side view mirror pointing down so you can see the lane marking, not other cars.
Since Bri taught me how to drive a manual without too much stress, I decided to take him up on the offer. He's a pretty good teacher, and very calm. He didn't yell or go for his "brake" once.
So off we were to Oakvale Farms. Luckily it's a pretty straight shot from our condo. There's not much traffic out here and the lanes are wide. I'm certain I drove slower then most, but I got us there in one piece. Turns out, it's really not that hard with a few exceptions:
- Parking lots are hard. I don't know why, but Brian agrees. I still have to talk myself through being on the "proper" side of the road. My theory is it has something to do with no real lane markings.
- If the lanes are wide, the road is straight, and there are no other cars, you tend to drift. I prefer normal size lanes and a bit of traffic just to keep me straight.
- Rotaries feel weird - and there are a lot of them. I actually prefer rotaries to traffic lights - it keeps traffic moving at a good pace. The first one Brian drove us through my thought was "Oh, they're coming from the right." Well of course they are! It took me a bit to get over hesitating on seeing a car about to enter from the left. Which brings me to the next point...
- Look right first! It is natural for us Americans to look left and then pull out or step off the curb. This will get you hit. I know that seems like an obvious statement, but it's difficult to override habit. For the first week everytime I'd reach an intersection I'd mutter "look right first, then left, then right again."
I was going to post this yesterday, but I was exhausted. Good thing I waited because now I can proudly report that not only can I drive on the proper side, but I can parallel park as well! I almost took a picture, but decided that might be overkill.
So come and visit! I promise I can get you from the airport to our house safely and in a timely manner!