Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Oh, I wouldn't want to get into a right-hand drive car with me either!"

Never have I been more grateful for a cloudy, breezy Saturday.  These last few days have left a sweaty impression.

It's been almost three and a half months since I last got behind the wheel of a British right-sided vehicle.  Today, I decided to pull on my Big Girl Pants and finally tackle my U.K. driving anxiety.

The first time I drove here, I had to follow behind The Hubs who was returning our rental car to the office.  It was an easy drive, the only point of irritation being that he'd gotten us lost for a few minutes and had to pull off to a side street so he could consult his GPS.  It had been the most un-scary thing I had ever accomplished.  But I never got behind the wheel ever again.   
Whenever we had someplace to go, The Hubs would be like, "You wanna drive?", and I would just wave him off.  And while driving, he would be going on about how nice it was to drive through a particular village or how the roundabouts weren't as intimidating as long as you know when to signal, etc.  All the while I'd be in the passenger seat, fretting out loud about the narrowness of the roads and the lack of alternative rock stations on BBC Radio.  I'm sure they exist, it's just that our car can't seem to pick them up, but I digress.
A couple of weeks later, and The Hubs tells me that he has to go to school for a month some time in the near future.  And guess what:  I'm going to have to drive him to AND from the airport.  I'm gonna need to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road, in a wrong-sided car, like NOW.
So earlier today, we had some errands to do and we had to take the car.  I drove all the way to where we needed to go, while The Hubs patiently mentored me from the passenger seat.  What stuck to me the hardest and what I'll always keep in mind until it becomes second nature:  the white lines in the middle of the road are your friends, so hug them.  This helps keep you from driving into the left-side curb and potentially blowing out one of your tires.

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