It must be odd, left-hand driving. Do you think so? Have you ever been in a country where there is left-hand traffic? Did you drive/rent a car there? How did it make you feel, driving on the “wrong” side of the road, with the steering wheel placed on the “wrong” side of the car?
Do you ever get used to driving on the left?
In fact, after driving in Ireland for nearly nine years now, I find it rather strange to go back to anything else but left-hand traffic. True, there are still some situations I’m not too keen about facing: parking in sideways and reversing. That’s when I’m still tempted for a few seconds to move my head toward the right to look over my right shoulder while parking or reversing. It doesn’t work that way, though!
The first few weeks, after we had just bought our car here in Ireland, had been a bit challenging. Unaccustomed, I had to get into the car at the opposite side of the car. Coming out of a store and walking toward the car I often unlocked it at the passenger side. Realising it, I just put some item on the seat, shut the door as nothing unusual had happened, walked around the car and got in on the other side. 🙂 Then, there had been several occasions when I had grasped at nothing instead of getting a hold of the seat belt. I also remember that strange movement of having to shift with my left hand instead of with my right.
It has been nearly three years ago now, that, for the first time in six years, I had been back in Germany again. My sister in law picked me up from the airport. Getting into her car over at the “wrong” side of it was very odd. She was driving on the “wrong” side of the road, flying across the Autobahn and passing cars on the other side of the road. That felt so strange. But do you know what had been the worst of it of all? Approaching a roundabout, due to the direction of entering and driving in it, I had nearly lost it and almost scream: “Oh no!” 🙂
The difference of driving a roundabout in Germany compared to in Ireland lies not only in the direction but also in the rules. That’s another story for another blog…