Dear Family & Friends: We are having so many new and exciting adventures to tell you about. We get up around 5:45am and go as fast as we can until bedtime, learning our new responsibilities and having a peek at this BEAUTIFUL country. We hope in this blog we can express how blessed we are to testify of Jesus Christ and serve Him in this amazing corner of the world! HAERE MAI* to our blog, we're glad you are visiting us!.....(*This means 'WELCOME' in the Maori language)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Death by Car!!

It has been over 2 months since I have driven a car, and I'm trying to muster up enough courage to try driving here.  I can't begin to tell you how frightening it was those first few weeks being in the car while Jeff was learning how to drive on the wrong side of the road.  I'm amazed he didn't kill us or someone else!  They have lots of round-abouts here and they are very confusing.  You can't remember which way to look before you enter, and the signals and rules are also different.  Inside the car the turn signal is switched with the windshield wipers, so one can tell when a visitor is behind the wheel because the windshield wipers go on with every turn!  He has finally gotten the hang of it, for the most part, but he still has to concentrate on what he's doing, and I'm still ever vigilant thinking we will turn into oncoming traffic! 
What's wrong with this picture????  Even now I am startled when I'm walking and I look up to see a scene like this.  Oh my gosh, that car is going down the road with no driver!!!  It takes me a second to realize I can't see the driver because he is on the other side!
Here is Jeff in our car, and no, it's not a Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler, Jeep, etc. etc. etc.  But it does get great gas mileage.  When we go to get into the car, I still can't remember which side the passenger sits on so I walk to the wrong side and Jeff always says, "Are you driving today?"  Anyway, this is the big week.  I'm going to get behind the wheel for the first time, so if you don't hear from us for awhile, who knows what I've done!!  Below is a great article written by former humor columnist Erma Bombeck and describes our experiences perfectly!

I suppose a lot of you think your ancestors came to
American to escape religious and political persecutions,
or did emigrants migrate to the new world so they could drive
on the right side of the road?
My husband and I have just returned from a vacation to
a British owned island where drivers drive on the left
(wrong) side of the road, and frankly, we are lucky to
be alive!
From the moment we climbed into the rental car, we
sensed something was wrong.  My husband said, "Where's
my steering wheel?"  I said, "I have it."  "I thought
you didn't want to drive!"  Crawl over the gear shift
and it's yours."
He eased the car out of the parking lot and into the
traffic.  I'm here to tell you, we have lived life in
the slow lane, and life in the fast lane, but until you
have spent a few weeks in the left lane, you have
nothing to talk about.  Every time a car approached, my
husband came to a dead stop and shut his eyes until it
passed.  Everything about the car defied familiarity.
When he tried to turn on the lights, he succeeded in
releasing the hood.  When the windshield wipers began
racing back and forth, I asked, "What are you doing?"
"Signaling for a left turn," he said.
In the entire two weeks we were there, we never passed
another car, put our car in reverse, parallel parked,
or made a right hand turn.  About the 50th time I told
him he was drifting to the wrong side of the road, he
reminded me that he was doing the best he could while I
just sat there and sucked in my breath.  That's when I
exploded.  "Being a passenger in this car is no day at
the beach," I said.  "I have been flogged to death by
tree branches, drenched by gutter water and have seen
fear in the eyes of pedestrians that will haunt me for
the rest of my life."
I don't know why Europeans make it so hard on
themselves to drive.  They've got enough problems
without driving on the wrong side of the road.  I'm
just glad my ancestors dreamed of a new land....a place
where passengers didn't have to impale themselves on
the brake to get to their seats....where you didn't have
to be left-handed to shift gears, and where the
tranquility of the countryside was not interrupted by
a hysterical wife shouting at her husband, "Idiot!
We're turning left!  Put on your windshield wipers!"

3 comments:

  1. That Bombeck article is hilarious. All I can say to you is you better let "Jesus Take the Wheel" to quote Karrie Underwood and friends. Good luck!

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  2. Great summation. Why on earth would you put yourself at risk and try this -- with Jeff having gotten the hang of it and all? Sounds like the closest thing to bungy jumping off a 400 feet bridge I've heard happens in NZ.

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  3. Go ahead, try it Mom. You will do great!

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