Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Opposite side of car & Opposite side of road

My parents graciously accompanied me to Birmingham. It was nice for me because they helped me settle, and it was nice for them because they got a 10 day holiday. It was a win-win situation......until my father decided to rent a car. All of you ((should)) know that England cars are made with steering on the right side and driving and on the left side of the road. Completely opposite than the US. 
After arriving in Birmingham.  Potentially the last picture of us alive.

So what does my dad do when he goes to a country that drives like he has never before with the likeliness to harm us? Rents one of the finest cars available from the rental place.
Came with built in GPS--helpful!! Payment to fix wrecked car--harmful!! 

I may have forgotten to mention that most cars are manual. So shifting gears will be done with your left hand. However, the gears are still in the same order at the US, so at least he didn't have to shift opposite. We start driving.... slowly.... and we make our first turn.... success! After a quick panic of "am I on the right side of the road!?" .. technically, no you are on the left, but yes you are on the correct side. After successfully making our first turn out of the rental place, we come to a stop sign with a roundabout straight ahead. (at this point I had place myself if the middle of the back seat so I would maybe have a chance had we gotten t-boned.) We start going on the round about (holding breaths) and on the way our we are gaining speed (not good) and almost to the end we were supposed to stop and a car comes flying almost t-bones us (ironic) and another flies by as well swerving and honking! So my dad steps on it to get us out. 
By this time I am not breathing or crying. From all the excitement and nervousness and life flashing before your eyes moments all I can do is laugh. And trust me, it doesn't stop. (as you can possible imagine. although if you know my fear of cars you would maybe be surprised). My mom is yelling, my dad probably did something to his pants, i'm laughing. It's just a world class mess. From there on my mom starting laughing in a "what did we get ourselves into?!?!" fashion. My dad is having a hard enough time staying between the lines, because on the left you are either going to side swipe a car or the curb. (They have extremely narrow lanes) 
We kind of settle down, and things aren't going so bad. Until there is a sign for another roundabout ... I start laughing, mom is praying, and dad has his knuckles white on the steering wheel. We make it through will moderate yelling inside the car. It was a group effort of driving from all of us. I quite possibly lost it when another sign said tunnel... my dad cried (jk) and my mom was like mother of god why is this happening to us. 

**Imagine this scene with as much screaming, laughing, and danger as possible. 

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