Thursday, July 16, 2009

Driving in the UK.

I'm afraid I'll need to do a little catching up over the next little while, so please play along. There were times when I had wished I had taken along my computer on the trip, but it was just one more thing to lug, and Gabe was unable to get the "free wifi" in our room in Vienna, so I would have been frustrated anyway.
Note: "free" usually means "crappy". I'm just saying.

Yes, that's me at the wheel. And no, it's not some optical illusion created using some sort of mirror effect. And yes, it's raining.
I was tempted to title this entry, "They're all on the wrong side!", but decided to let that one go.

This was actually taken on the Saturday night as we were making our way back to Redding's Lane to drop off the car. One of our hosts had very kindly offered the use of a gps which, when it's both dark and raining, (and you're in a foreign country and you're driving à la main droit) can be simply brilliant.

Not sure what Gabe was attempting to demonstrate in this other photo, but what I see is me with both hands on the wheel.
I did discover that having to switch everything around meant that nothing was left to second nature. What second nature? Still found myself trying to put on an imaginary seatbelt from somewhere in the middle of the car......

That also meant that I didn't feel slighted in the least that I was not offered a standard. By observing the cabbie on the route from the airport to hotel, I had been mentally preparing for the possibility that I'd be given a standard, (plus the usual observations concerning roundabouts etc.,) but not having to also shift with my left hand meant one less thing to deal with.

Now admittedly, I don't think I'd ever drive in a place like Calcutta (who would want to?) but perhaps it's because I don't have a lot going on upstairs that made it fairly easy to do the "mental switch" to driving on the other side?
Note comment above about not having one more thing to deal with however.

Cut me some slack.

It's a slightly freaky experience.

I should point out the reason that we had use of this car, which was simply that it was one of the "pool" cars from the company that cannot be named, and we picked it up on the Friday afternoon after Gabe and I spent the day at the office. Since there was no possibility of using a remote proxy, my use of the internet was limited however to webmail and google maps.
On the Thursday I had pretty much spent the day wandering around downtown Birmingham, imagining just how different life would have been had we decided to live there instead.
Somehow though I think we chose wisely, even though the "mailbox" area of Birmingham is really quite nice, it is after all, the second largest city in the UK, and there have been other negative issues that have been pointed out to me.Just the same, for the first time in the last year, I'm in a foreign country, and all the signs are in English. Also kinda freaky.

I think that's going to be about it for today. Just now an additional two mattresses arrived that had been mentioned by our Landlady last summer some time. They belong to a couple beds they had left behind that I'll now need to assemble.

Company is on the way once again.

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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.