If you’ve ever seen the Disney flick Bambi, you may remember when Bambi learned to walk for the first time – here’s a refresher just in case:
Notice the confusion, the stumbling, the looking around in wonder? Also see the surprise on the bunnies faces when he kind of gets it? Welcome to learning to drive on the other side of the road (with the steering wheel on the other side of the car).
We took the plunge and rented a car for this week ahead of my trip back to states so I could easily explore Perth – a good and a bad thing! If you didnt already know, one drives on the left side of the road here in Australia. And if you didnt already know, I have limited (okay no) experience with this. How’s is going you may ask? Here is a series of events that have occurred in the last 48 hours:
- This morning on the way to dropping Barr off at work, I right hand turned into the wrong lane/oncoming traffic. Whoops. Thank goodness it was the crack of dawn and we could quickly scoot to the correct lane!
- I clipped a curb (pretty hard) prompting Barr to say, “Are you even awake right now?!” The answer, in case you were wondering, was yes, but your entire depth perception is flip flopped from when you drive/steer on the right side of the road – you’re used to having the curb on one side and judging distance from that, but it’s obviously opposite here – very tough!
- I’ve tried to get in on the Dubai/USA side of the car more times than I have originally gone to the correct, Aussie side of the car. Quite embarrassing should one be in a busy parking lot.
- Barr is left handed so I think this is a piece of cake for him, but for righties like me, the gift shift is to your left. Maybe I’ll strengthen my left hand with this new found usage?
- The turn signal is on the right side of the steering wheel and the windshield wipers are on the left. Again, opposite from what I am used to – can you guess how many times I’ve turned on the wipers as opposed to the turn signal? Spoiler alert: a lot.
It’s been comical and at times scary, forcing me to drive a lot slower and really pay attention (probably a good thing!) to each turn and lane change. Wish us luck as we continue to navigate these roads and get the hang of this 🙂 Until next time…