Posted by: dsduffy | September 17, 2008

Observations while driving on the left, from the right


I knew it would have to happen eventually, I can’t live here for 2 years and not drive at all. There’s going to come a time when I have no choice but to drive. But I am just not ready yet, I am not even comfortable being a passenger here (imagine sitting where we normally drive in the US, but just sitting and watching, very strange!) Well the time has come and I have to drive – I need to get to Target and Craig has some stuff to do at the house. Today is the day I will go it alone (well, with Jake)

So yesterday on the way home from the playground, in the dead of evening rush-hour traffic, I took the wheel. I admit I started off with a bad attitude, we all know how hard it is to take direction from our significant other (what, it’s just me?). Thankfully we have the GPS but that only tells you WHERE to drive, not HOW.

When I pulled away from the curb, immediately I was told that I am hovering over 2 lanes, this was not going to be easy. There are many obstacles here that we don’t have back home, at least not in the ‘burbs. All of a sudden you are driving in the left lane and up ahead, there are parked cars in your lane. Thanks for the warning. So you have to quickly get over to the right. Oh and then there are the scooters and motorcycles that ride in between the lanes, and the bicyclists, they have their own lane on the left but what happens when you have to make a left & cross their lane – watch out for them too. All this while driving on the opposite side of the road, on the opposite side of the car.

Making right turns, sounds easy right? No…totally bizarre. I don’t even remember where to look now when I am crossing the street on foot.

All in all, my 15 minute drive home was fine, we survived & Cameron even fell asleep. We’ll see how it goes today when I am on my own. I can’t even cross my fingers, I need all my concentration focused on the road.


Status of pictures: many taken, still can’t find cable to upload to my computer. Will keep looking.
Today’s coffee: Much better, ordered a “flat white” which is more like a cappucino but it will do.
Things learned: ask for the “toilet” not the bathroom, say “pardon”, or “sorry” instead of “excuse me” Everyone is “mate”, strollers are “prams”, instead of “Mom” and “Baby” it is “mum” and “bub”, there is no such thing as grape jelly here, they just don’t have it.

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Responses

  1. ok, so I am so glad you are there, and sounds like everything is going great! That better not make you stay longer though! I am amazed there is target and IKEA there, hmmmm, I could even move there for that! 🙂
    Ok, so what is the time difference???

  2. No grape jelly?! What – do they eat peanut butter and vegimite instead? (vegimite tastes AWFUL btw)

    Can’t believe you’re driving already – impressive. I did it once and it was freaky. In a month you’ll be driving with one hand, on the phone and handing shrimp on the barbi back to the kids. 🙂

  3. I am impressed Danielle! I totally forgot about the fact that they drive on the left over there. You will be used to it in no time. The problem will eventually be when you get back here, this will seem strange. Good luck on your trip to Target. Hope it goes smoothly. I am kinda jealous. Can’t wait to hear about the differences in Target. Haha! So interesting to hear all of the differences. Sucks about grape jelly.

  4. You made it…no I don’t mean to Target, but to Australia. We miss you already and would love to hear all about your journey to the other side of the world. Write when you have chance.


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