already at the wheel…

So, I took my first drive on the left side of the road, today. I wasn’t really looking forward to it, and maybe would have put it off longer, but I want to go to church tomorrow morning. My family leaves much earlier, as Mass begins at 8am. The worship service at the Emerald Christian Assembly beings at 9am. Therefore, I have to get there on my own… four wheels.

I am thankful the car is an automatic. Trying to drive stick-shift (manual, if you don’t speak my lingo) on the wrong side would probably fry my brain completely. As it is, I kept turning the windshield wipers on, whenever I tried to put my turn signal on. The rest of it actually wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. At least for as long as I keep singing “left, stay on the left, left, stay on the left” constantly, in my head.

This was not a huge adventure, but since I’ll be nervous enough about going into a new chapel, all by myself, in a different country, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to add new driving skills to it. But when we went to see “Hop” at the movie theater (they say cinema, mostly), we drove past it on the way there and back (on purpose, it wasn’t on the way). Just a couple of turns and I’m there. No huge traffic lights. And I know I can park in the middle of the road section, which seems to be the norm all over Emerald. Is it the norm, all over Australia? That, I cannot tell you.

After playing a game of Pictionary with the family, and waiting for the girls to go to bed, I followed my family’s mom to the gas station, as both cars needed their tanks filled. I wasn’t sure if it would be different at the gas stations over here, and didn’t know where it was, anyway. Originally, we had planned to go for a spin, in the evening, and she would tell me where to go, and I would just get some practice. But the fridge seems to have died, and that was going to take up a chunk of this evening.

So, my longest drive in the car was about 10 minutes, tops. I went down a long country road, with the sun going down in the distance. The sky was full of beautiful colors, with the sun already out of sight. I was passed by several people, as I couldn’t remember what the speed limit was, and I was still being a little cautious. The speed limit was 100kph, and I was going between 80-90, so don’t think I was crawling. The speed limit signs over here are white, with a red circle, and the number in the middle. They seem more like mile marker signs, to me, but of course, the numbers don’t change much, so that’s out.

I’m sure longer and much more fascinating trips shall follow. Hopefully no issues with driving on the wrong side of the road will occur. By the way, how can driving on the right side be wrong? Or the wrong side be right? What were they thinking, when they started driving in these left-sided countries?

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