A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

rules of the road

I am often asked how I find driving over here... on the 'wrong' side of the road. Most of the time it is pretty easy. Automatic gears and cruise control help. The roads are wide and busy roads often have a centre lane for people turning. Local roads have a layby where you can pass people who are turning left (crossing the oncoming traffic and therefore may end up holding up cars behind them) into a road or housing estate.

But today threw me. I was driving down the main road on the way to school when I saw a procession of about 20 cars going quite slowly. They all had small orange flags on top of their cars. I knew right away it was probably a funeral procession but then panicked as I knew I had read about that in the highway code but couldn't remember what was special about a funeral procession. I didn't know if I could overtake them (they were driving at 20 miles per hour) or if I had to fall in line behind them. Another car drove past so I slowly overtook them all.

There are different rules of the road here like you do not pass a school bus on either side of the road when it has it's red lights flashing and stop sign out. You can turn right on a red, if it is clear, or left into a one way street. Four way stops are a confusing venture with all sorts of rights of way!

It turns out that I was OK to overtake the funeral procession. They have right of way especially at traffic lights - where all traffic must stop to let them through.

My worry is when I go back to England and try to drive a 'stick shift' after all of this time! I know I will stall at the first set of traffic lights because I have forgotten to put the clutch in!

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