My wife believes driving in a foreign country takes two people.
It. Does. Not.
I have steely confidence and take the stick shift in the wrong hand whilst sitting on the wrong seat in the car and driving on the wrong side of the road while going 80 (km/hr). Every car we get has a stick, is named euroPuff and doesn't have a second gear worth a damn.
- Stay on the left side - We're in the gutter - You just hit their rear view mirror (I did NOT)
In Jo'burg, people stand in the road -- between the lanes -- to ask for money and direct traffic. Kids jump off the sidewalk to help you park ( I KNOW how to parallel park; I grew up in New YORK).
- I heard someone honk. You did something wrong (I did NOT) - GPS woman: You are 8 km over the speed limit. Wife: You're 20 km over the speed limit. Kids: Yeah, dad! Me: I'm just keeping w/ traffic!
She gets the kids involved and my neck gets really hot.
- Yeah, Dad, you're gonna get us all killed. Watch out for that windshield cleanin' kid.
On the highway, people are walking on both sides of the shoulder's yellow line. Like they're going to pull Rand coins out off my ashtray. And I have children chittering in my ear.
What my wife and kids don't understand, and men yours don't either is that when we get behind the (small) wheel in a foreign country, we all believe -- we can FEEL it -- we're Jason Bourne, dammit.
Now, I'm not trying to kill it on the autobahn, shoot at a helicopter or even play w/ the Polish radio. But I will NOT back down in traffic and I don't care whose town I'm in.
- If there's free parking on either side of that damn road, I'm taking it.
- I'm happy to go down a flight of city steps and backward through an alley to get where I'm going. WHILE accelerating.
- If I park half on the sidewalk, half on that funky, squiggly line on the street, it's because I MEANT to do that.
- If I have to rev euroPuff up to 110 (km/hr) in FIFTH gear to pass the fruit truck pulling a wagon with rope, well, I'm DOING IT. And I don't need any frikkin' help along the way!
- And, YES, my lights are on for safety.