European Summer Tour 2004, part 5

As mentioned earlier, I'm in Coventry, UK for a few days. At the rental car agency, the car I'd asked for wasn't available, so I wound up with this car instead. Driving on the left side of the road - with the gear shift in my left hand, the rear-view mirror on the left, and cars wizzing by me on the right - is a somewhat mind-bending experience for this Yank. Add to it trying to read a fax of a screenshot of a JPG map image while coming off a round-about onto the motorway with the trumpet allegro of the William Tell Overture playing on BBC 3, and you have the making of a truly surreal experience!

Having successfully managed to find my hotel, I was able to do a bit of sightseeing before my meetings. There is a lot to see in the beautiful English countryside. I spent the day at Warwick Castle. They have a massive gate which, as can be seen in cross-section is unlikely to yield to medieval weaponry. Inside the castle grounds is a peacock garden, whose occupants are only too happy to show off.

Comments:

What I learned about driving after living in London for two years is that the driver is always in the middle of the road, while the passenger is on the curb side. If you find yourself driving down a two way street and the curb is on your side of the car, you are in for trouble. Note that this rule also holds for driving in the US and Europe. If the steering wheel is on the right you drive on the left; if the steering wheel is on the left you drive on the right. The driver is always away from the curb. I found round-abouts to be the most confusing. Especially in the middle of the night when there are no cars to follow.

Posted by Richard Friedman on July 15, 2004 at 04:15 AM PDT #

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