Drive Me Crazy

10.11.2011

Now that we finally have our own car (which I absolutely LOVE!), I think it’s safe to say that I am slowly learning the lay of the land and the rules of the road. Along the way, I’ve made a few observations:

-Nobody wears seat belts- not even kids. It is is not uncommon to see an infant sitting on their parent’s lap in the front seat and two kids standing in the back seat. It’s my biggest pet peeve! I don’t understand how a country this advance doesn’t have seatbelt laws!

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-They love, love, love roundabouts here. You can find at least one on every main road. I’m not a fan for two reasons. #1- They’re crazy and confusing to begin with, even when people follow the rules about right-of-way. #2- Nobody here follows the rules so you never know when you should go. People don’t stay in their lane either so you never know if you’ll be able to exit the circle when you’re supposed to. There have been times that I have had to go around 2 or 3 times just to get in the lane so that I can exit. This roundabout is called The Circle of Death because there are so many accidents there. It’s one of my least favorite places to drive.

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-Parking laws mean NOTHING. Honestly, I’ve never seen such crazy parking in my life. People will park behind you in parking garages, in the middle of the street, even on the on/off ramp going to the parking garage. One day I went to get groceries and when I came out the car next to me was parked so crooked that their bumper was literally about 6 inches from my door. Luckily I was in the tiny little rental and I was able to maneuver my way out.

-Speed is monitored by radar/cameras. You have to go online and put in your license plate number every so often just to make sure you don’t have any tickets. I haven’t checked yet, but I think I should be good because I’m a pretty slow driver. It seems like there are pretty much three speed limits: 120, 80, and 60 kilometers per hour.

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-It is imperative that you don’t miss your turn when you are going somewhere. If you do, you might have to drive 2 hours 20 minutes out of the way just to turn around. I may or may  not be speaking from experience on this one….

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-There is construction going on EVERYWHERE. It can make it pretty hard to get where you’re going. It can also  make you fear for your life at times. It’s not hard to imagine one of those cranes falling from 1000 feet up.

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There are no addresses here so if you ask for directions you will be told where isomething is according to landmarks. For this very same reason, GPS systems don’t work very well here.

-You have to be a defensive- and even somewhat aggressive-driver. People drive like maniacs here and most of the time they don’t care if they get in a wreck. Most of them have more money than they know what to do with, so wrecking their $200,000 Mercedes is like us losing a 20 dollar bill.

-I’m getting more confident each day that I drive, despite the crazies! I’m also really starting to learn my way around. I think actually getting out and driving has helped with that.  Plus, I have a great little driving partner.

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She doesn’t seem to notice the crazy drivers at all!

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The Jeffcoats said...

Good for you girl, for being brave enough to get out on the road and drive in all of that madness!! lol When we went to Paris and just RODE in a cab from the airport it was scary enough!! Glad you got your own car though! What did you end up going with?

The Carver's said...

I definitely do NOT miss any of that! Be safe out there! BTW Thanks for the Broccoli recipe...is delicious! ;0)

Rebekah said...

WOW! And I thought driving around CA was crazy. I'm not sure I could handle my road rage there! :)

Brittney Galloway said...

lol, you are so right! And, in your country, the left lane is lovingly called the "native lane," as in, if you aren't native, you better get out of the way, ha! It is fairly common for a native to wrack up so many speeding tickets that they simply sell their car each year before the registration has to be re upped!

Amy Young said...

You are brave woman... gosh, crazy how a place so up with the times... really isnt up with the times so to speak. No addresses? I would go nuts too!

SushiMama said...

Your driving partner is adorable, but man, that would make me nervous. I hate to drive anyway, don't' think I could handle being where you are.

Lyndsey said...

Wow! Yeah that does not sound like fun. I'm not good at being an aggressive driver so I'd probably be stuck on the roundabouts all day, ha! Good for you!

Kristi said...

Looks like a crazy adventure! I would have a hard time making myself get on those roads. PS Your "About Us" page has only fuzzy babies! :)

Gabriella said...

Yikes! Driving there would terrify me.

Melissa said...

Girl, you're brave! That sounds like madness!

cait said...

oh goodness patience would be a must--which is difficult for me! :) what a sweet pic of your little one asleep!

the workaholic momma said...

oh my gosh girl - so crazy!!! Stay safe!!!

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