Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's not just me!

Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves? Robin Williams

I feel sooo much better!

You see, I am not the most practical person in my house. Just about everyone else [barring Ditz] has got a far better grasp on the practicalities of life than I do. I'm your woman if you want to philosophise, or fantasise, or discuss any of numerous obscure topics in depth & detail but I am likely to stand & watch the dinner burn while I do it. So in many ways Liddy is already a better driver than I will ever be. She has a far better sense of direction. She reads a map without having to turn it round to orientate herself. She is supremely confident. She is pretty scathing about her directionless, unmap reading, under confident mother....And she has got her just deserts!

Having been in meltdown all week about driving through Brisbane I couldn't even work up the indignation to be miffed that my whole family thought so little of my abilities they connived to have Liddy do the driving on Wednesday. I was merely relieved.

We left in plenty of time. Liddy shot through all the back roads that only confuse & disorientate me. Ditz buried herself in her sister's I~pod & I felt small. We were 1/2 way to town before Liddy deigned to come out onto the road I've been travelling all week & I began to recognize my landmarks. Not that she had gained anything. My route is actually quicker despite the fact I potter at 1/2 Liddy's pace. Just the same we were doing well & the traffic was moving forward steadily.

I tried to warn Liddy that our turn offs were not quite so simple as they look on the map. I warned her about all the one way streets. I warned her that it would be peak hour when we hit town. Obviously mother was in meltdown mode so Liddy ignored all this sage advice. *hear me snigger*

Oh yes! One wrong turn was all it took. The look on Liddy's face when she realised how far she had to travel before we could back track & how circuitous our route had to be was absolutely priceless! She was not a happy little driver. We found ourselves about to head over one bridge but managed to avoid disaster. We sat for an hour & a half while the traffic moved forward by inches. Ditz's call time came & went. We took twenty minutes to crawl the last 2 streets. When we finally pulled in to QPAC it was after 6pm. Liddy threw us out & toddled off to park in a loading zone while I hustled Ditz down the alley to the stage door. Brisbane's layout is conducive to breeding criminals prepared to perform any illegal act to get a park. *sigh*

Got Ditz's name marked off & watched her head through the big swing doors & *follow the blue arrows* backstage. Poor kid. After yesterday she didn't even want to be there last night, begged me to let her stay home, said anything was better than facing Alison's wrath. Commitments are commitments so she got bundled up willy~nilly with her choir robe & her white shirt freshly starched & ironed, her shoes polished, her hair sprayed & her mama's blessing.

Liddy had spent the waiting time by profitably investigating the map & we managed to find our town friends with a minimum of trouble, had a pleasant hour chatting then braved the streets again. We arrived at QPAC with 10 minutes to spare, parked [illegally] & I shot out of the car to hunt up Ditz. As I was crossing the park the ticket men arrived, bailed me up, & very nicely informed me that we couldn't park there & they were about to start issuing tickets. Ugh! Back I went to Liddy & we began the hunt for street parking.

You have no idea! I have been to London & Paris both & nothing compares to the awfulness of Brisbane. They should be embarrassed given that they are the state capital. Liddy found herself crossing yet another bridge. At this point Liddy lost it. While I was still trying to direct her enough to enable us to turn round & head back across the bridge Liddy said, 'You know what...' & began a three point turn in the middle of the freeway!!!! Yikes. But she was committed. Nothing for it but to let her finish it. Honestly I was thanking God there was no copper round to see her ~ & no traffic either.

We headed back down Grey street but Liddy had rattled herself enough to simply pull into the left turning lane in front of the last park [naturally there were no spare parks] & stop. I wasn't happy but didn't see how else we were to get Ditz in time. I ran! I may as well have saved my breath. Ditz has no watch & the stage hand had lost track of the time. They were nearly 15 minutes late. Meanwhile Liddy was having a serious meltdown of her own & when the car behind her pulled out she reversed back into the parking space ~ which, quite frankly, I have no problem with given it was down to a choice of illegal activities by then & like I said she actually drives quite well, certainly well enough to reverse into a spare parking space.

With Ditz safely in tow I relaxed. We have never had any trouble getting home again ~ but then Liddy wasn't driving either. Luckily by then the traffic was so light it was not a major drama to re route ourselves & we made the 9 pm boat again, which was a jolly good thing. We have all well & truly had enough of town.

Just the same it is nice to know it's not just me & on the whole other drivers seem to be having the same sort of problems. Liddy followed one bloke into the bus transit lane. She was able to reverse out; he went through & lane hopped. I felt for him At least I can put my idiosyncrasies down to having a blonde moment but blokes don't seem able to do that. When Liddy found herself in the wrong lane & needing to get across 4 lanes of traffic the bloke beside her wouldn't let her in but every single other car let her through. Yes we saw plenty of drivers making a last minute lunge for the correct lane! One poor bloke shot through a red light. I'm pretty sure he never even saw it. Like Liddy he was just following the traffic & the only reason she didn't follow him through was I'd seen it & yelled a warning. Then there were all the cars lane changing. Liddy was making snarky comments about their driving & how it wasn't going to get them anywhere faster [oops!] when I suggested she might like to follow suit in order to avoid the parked car.

The thing about being a driver who is being driven by somebody else, especially if that somebody else is a learner, is that you still drive the car without the benefit of the brakes. Both Liddy & I were sweating profusely before we were done. Liddy doesn't drive quite the same way as I do ~ & that is not always a good thing. I am a far more cautious driver & far less likely to get het about the wacky things other drivers do. After yesterday Liddy may be a little more tolerant in the future...but somehow I doubt it.


molytail said...

Oh my. I'm grinning *and* sympathizing {they can go together) because although this isn't anywhere near the sort of city you have going on there, the road layouts and traffic is nuts here - because it wasn't designed to hold the kind of traffic it sees. Oh if I'd just video'd the mess of craziness we saw on the highway here in October - people passing people who were passing people and NOBODY had any room to do what they were doing. Throw in some trucks hauling equipment wider than the roads themselves and you have a right mess. There's four way stops here that ought to be traffic lights and traffic lights that don't make any sense whatsoever and people who just don't bother following any lights or signs and do their own thing because if you don't you'll sit ordrive in circles forever LOL ...Blair's not keen on me driving 'round here too much yet..but it's either that or we eat snow; the groceries have to be gotten LOL

I'm glad you all made it in one piece though - better late than a snashed up car and banged up people!


Ganeida said...

lol, moly! Unfortunately for me most of my family [extended, not immediate] are very competant drivers, enjoy driving & would never admit to feeling overwhelmed but I've driven on an island [17K X 3K] for over 20 years & I'm just not used to big city driving. Mind you it's not my driving Ditz objects to. ;D