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

Friday, July 1, 2011

Driving me nuts.

If everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane. ~ Anon

I didn't drive until I was in my 20's.  Cars & I, well, let's just say we're not simpatico.

  It was Dearest who put an end to it when he found I was hiking home from rehearsals at 2 & 3 am along country roads.  I went to the University of Southern Queensland [as it is now] & back in the day it was all country roads. That walk was a great de~stresser & a good deal safer than my driving but I took his point.  Deserted, pitch black roads, even in the Toowoomba of 30 years ago, are not the safest of places. For my encouragement Dearest acquired a tomato soup red V~dub so mechanically sound I never had to worry about it & which I would still own if it was up to me~ & having shot through 2 amber lights while taking my test I duly acquired a driving licence. 

 Having a licence did not equal actually driving & the last thing my instructor said to me when she dropped me off after my test was that I was to take the car out every single day ~ even if all I did was pull in & out of the driveway.  Sad to say, that's exactly what I did for a week.  I think it is safe to say I have never been the most confident of drivers.  Plus, I learnt to drive in a largeish country town that is considerably smaller than it is now & almost all my driving was either in country towns or on the open road.  Learning to navigate big cities from a moving vehicle was not a skill I acquired & then of course we moved to the island & this is how it is people: Twenty years ago most of our roads were still dirt; we still do not have a single set of traffic lights & only one pedestrian crossing, which is outside the school.  The greatest traffic I am normally likely to see is at the jetty just after the boat pulls in & as the traffic regulations for this have yet to be written islanders have their own code for dropping off & picking up passengers ~ most of which is illegal by regular road standards but as everybody here understands how this works we have never had an accident.

When Star first started singing & I discovered I was required to actually drive on the mainland I was not a happy bunny.  It had been more than twenty years since I'd been required to actually deal with any of the following: traffic lights, lane dividers, multiple lanes of traffic, pedestrian crossings, round~a~bouts, highways, bicycle lanes, bus transit lanes [What are they?], buses, trucks, speed signs, stop signs ~ road signs of any description ~ road works...actually, you name it & I probably hadn't encountered it.  My brother, Mark, on a rare visit, once stood staring at an island road sign in complete bewilderment.  Not even a track showed, just acres of cattle can rattling in the breeze.

Now I grew up in Sydney, which is a large cosmopolitan city, & was even when I was a child. I have travelled the world over & so long as no~one actually expects me to navigate, let alone drive, I am perfectly serene, even when lost where no~one speaks my language. But, ask me to drive into Brisbane & I promptly go into meltdown.  Why is this so?  I speak the language. I have some chance of reading the infrequent road signs.  I can look & act as blond as the best of them.  It makes no difference, so contrary creature that I am, why am I not shouting hallelujahs from the rooftops at travelling into Brissie by public transport tomorrow? Why, indeed?

1 comment:

Jo said...

I learnt to drive when I was 23 and it was in Darwin where there wasn't much traffic. The only other place I have driven is in Canberra so I don't know if could drive in a place like Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane, I would probably get very stressed and panic:). Fortunately i dont need to. I am a confident driver in my own surroundings:)