Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Driving on the other side of the road

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. Because of this, all of their vehicles (except for the ones imported from countries that manufacture their cars in countries that employ right hand side of the road traffic) have steering wheels on the right, as opposed to the left like in the States. Originally, most of the traffic worldwide drove on the left, however today about 66.1% of the world's people live in right-hand traffic countries and 33.9% in left-hand traffic countries. Since I don't have a car here in Australia, this is of little concern to me, however I still have to think about which way traffic is coming when I cross the street. There have been a few instances, however, that I have had to get behind the wheel. Driving on the opposite side of the road is a bit disorienting at first, especially trying to remember which side of the road you need to be on after the completion of a turn, but after a while, you get the hang of it. The only real issue I have with driving here is the lack of four-way intersections. The lack of them has become problematic for me, mainly due to the fact that Australians employ roundabouts:

Look at that diagram. The cartoonish representation of the roundabout makes it seem cute and approachable, which disguises the soul crushing reality that this bastardization of roadway has in store for unprepared motorists. It lies in wait, like a masterful predator, ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. In all seriousness, that diagram really does make it seem like I am either a bad driver, or complaining about something that really isn't that big of a deal, but look at this:

Seems like it would promote accidents rather than prevent them, am I right? When I brought this up to Rhiannon she shrugged it off and simply stated that when you approach a roundabout, you always give way to your right. So there you have it, a simple rule not unlike the US rule of letting whoever got there first, go first. I still contest that intersections are much easier to navigate than roundabouts.

Last but not least, I decided to post some "driving songs". I go through phases in terms of what i like to listen to while I'm driving, sometimes I like to belt out the choruses, sometimes I like to just sit and reflect and sort of zone out. Regardless of whether you listen to these songs while driving, you should check them out all the same because they are quality.

The National - Blank Slate
Tamaryn - Love Fade
Gorillaz - Superfast Jellyfish
Oasis - Fuckin' In The Bushes
Passion Pit - Little Secrets

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