Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road

They said it was hard to adjust to driving on the opposite side of the road.

It is.

I’m back in Colorado and that’s where I’m having a problem. It’s pretty weird. Every once in a while, I catch myself making a wide turn and being on the wrong side of the road. I’m driving Irish in America. My friend, Dreena, who has been to Ireland, sometimes reminds me that I’m on the wrong side.

Figuring out how to drive on the opposite side of the road in Ireland wasn’t hard for me. Being mindful that I should always be on the inside of the road and driving a standard car were enough to keep me on the proper side. After 23 years of driving stick, trying to shift with the left NOT the right was reminder enough that I was no longer in Kansas. The pedals are all the same. The gear sequence is the same. You use your left to shift. I felt slightly stupid struggling through what was instinct back home.

After a couple small trips to the grocery store, it was almost as if I had driven this way my whole life.

With the exception of driving the country roads.

On my list of “Almost Pooped My Pants” moments is seeing a bus loaded with tourists barreling at me from a sharp turn down a hill on a road that barely fits the bus much less a tiny, beat-to-hell Peugeot that smells like wet dog* and we’re trying to pass each other. The driver didn’t even flinch. He must be a magician because there is no way in hell we should have been able to pass each other without one of us going off the road. Maybe Moses is a distant relative of his and he can widen the road like Moses parted the waters. Who knows but I’ll take it as miracle.

I think I’m going to add that phrase to my arsenal of metaphors. Perhaps I can use it when someone departs from their normal way of thinking/doing things without warning and potentially dangerously. For example:

“Sally just broke up with Brad after 7 years and now she’s going out clubbing every night, doing drugs, and missing a lot of work.”

“Wow. She’s totally driving on the wrong side of the road.”

Or maybe as a way to say someone is not thinking straight:

“Maybe you should go BASE jumping to add some spice to your life?”

“You are driving on the wrong side of the road. No way!”


* This fabulous Peugeot I speak of was purchased for a whooping total of 850 euros. It smelled strongly of wet dog and farm and there was mold growing on the dash and console. One morning, I opened the trunk to find a large snail hiding out where the trunk lid and trunk meet.  IMG_7145The suspension was pretty done which made hitting anything that resembled a bump feel like I hit a boulder. Though, if I was driving fast enough and hit a bit of a kicker, my imagination said I was Luke Duke and jumping over Rosco with the General…