Thursday, October 23, 2008

DRIVING WHILE "DISORIENTED"

No, I'm not referring to what probably first comes to your mind when I say driving while disoriented. I'm not talking about being intoxicated or anything of that nature.

Last week when I was at home, the athletes were given rental cars during our stay to get around. For the first several days, I refused to drive. Why, you might ask? Well the reason is pretty simple. In The Bahamas, we drive on the left hand side of the road and as a result of living in the US for quite some time now, this switching sides of the road can be an instant mind bender, to say the least!

Your brain is fighting you all the way, especially when it comes to making turns. Do I make a hard right? Do I a make a wide left? Then just to add insult to injury, most of the cars are also right hand drives, so the steering wheel is on the other side of the car. And then just to make sure you really get confused, the turn signal is on the right of the steering wheel and your windshield wipers are on your left hand side. Confused yet??? I can't tell you how many times I turned on the wipers when I was trying to make a turn!!

Trust me, every time I go home, I have to take a few days to get in sync with everything before I get on the road like a maniac and kill innocent bystanders, lol. This time was no different. You have completely different cues when you sit on the right. You have to judge the far left hood of your car in relation to the walls, people, the sidewalk, etc and some of our roads are extremely narrow. And why don't we have left on red? I'm still not sure I understand.

One last thing, unless you're from there, you'd never know this unwritten rule. Once the clock strikes midnight, you can pretty much ignore all the traffic lights. You're pretty much free to stop and go as you please!

Oh well, I managed to make it out unscathed although when I got back here to LA, I realized that my mind had already switched and I had to adjust all over again.

PS. OK mr. pitbull, maybe this little chihuahua, isn't the best driver in the world....I'll finally give you that:) But I bet you'd have trouble too...

9 comments:

Erica Camilletti said...

I have been in The Bahamas in 2 oportunities, the first one was the best of all (May 98´), I met a great man called John, I believe that you will know him (he is your brother. isn¨t him?), but I never see him again, I have spoken by telephone once or twice. In 1999 I was to studying in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco for long time and when I return to Argentina (January 00´) I found a letter from John telling me that he was living in San Francisco. I felt sad to know that, we were so closed and we could not meet.- Please, send him my regards and I give you my email for him (ecamilletti@hotmail.com). Thank you!!
Erica from Argentina

anonymousnupe said...

I've always wondered how someone used to driving in the U.S. could ever make the switch successfully. A friend of mine deepened my trepidation by telling me that it's difficult for pedestrians to make the switch as well, and many are injured or killed because they are used to looking one way for traffic before stepping out into the street, but over yonder the traffic comes from the other way first!

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k. carli said...

Jackie---that is hilarious! I know for darn sure if I ever visit the Bahamas, I will NOT be driving. NO way...I can barely adjust to time zones, I know I can't adjust to a total opposite driving routine. And your comment about the unwritten driving rules when the clock strikes 12?...absolutely hilarious. Dangerous, and scary...but funny all the same.

Mizrepresent said...

Well, you can count on me never getting behind the wheel there! lol! You go girl!

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

LOL uv are funny

Jackie E. said...

erica: i gave your name and email to my brother and i told him to contact you

Erica said...

Jakie, thank you very much for your attention!!!
I"ll enter to you blog again, it¨s very interestting and funny for me.

Erica

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