Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I'm driving myself crazy!

I have put over 300 kilometers on our daily rent-a-car in 3 days. How did I go from a practically non-driving person to someone who drives over 100 kilometers a day? I really didn't think the island of Singapore was that big. It doesn't look that big on a map, it looks like a speck of a place and it looks like you could drive from one end of the island to the other in 30 minutes. Wait, you really can drive from one end of the island to the other in 30 minutes! I've just been driving around in circles. Dropping the kids off, picking the kids up, and what else? Oh yes, dropping the kids off and picking the kids up.

I'm having a tough time with the names of the freeways here. I'm really good a remembering numbers – I love Interstate 95 on the Eastern seaboard, 270 in Maryland, 280 in the SF bay area, 35 running through Austin, Route 9 in upstate New York. And I love numbers, there are only 9 of them (whoops, there are 10. My bad. I forgot zero.) and they have such easy to remember tendencies to look for...Even? Odd? Prime? Pi? Interesting pattern on a phone? Birthdays? But the freeways here don't have numbers, they are acronyms of which I don't know the meaning of, but I suspect are the initials of very wealthy people. The PIE, SLE, KJE, BKE and something else I can't remember. Anyways, these names are all the same to me! All the same! Where are my numbers? I want my numbers!

The driving is easy here, everything is labeled very well and every drifts in and out of their lanes without signaling, but without the insane need that some Americans have of cutting off other drivers in a quick and aggressive manner which makes me all jittery and nervous. But the drifting is very casual and slow and everyone drifts with everyone else, so really, there is no need to check in one's blind spot ever. Ha ha, just kidding – don't freak – I check my blind spot every time.. Um, yeah! That's right!

But the parking, that is a whole 'nuther problem. I love parking in suburban US. Big parking lots, lots of room to swing doors open and get ornery kids in and out of bulky car seats. The only time I have ever parallel parked in my life was my first driving test when I turned 16 in 1988! I haven't parallel parked in over 18 years! Here, the spaces are tiny and everyone backs their butt into the parking spaces, which I have never done in the years 1972 – 2006. Today I parked (head in) at Edda's school and I sat there for a while wondering how I was going to open the doors because we were 4 inches from the cars next to us. Ummm, so I sat there and sat there and I decided that I was going to do my best not to ding the car next to me and I slithered both me and Edda out of a 4 inch door opening while sacrificing my hand to use as a wedge between the two cars so no paint would be chipped from the Mercedes minivan parked next to me. Yikes. Don't you get the impression that Mercedes owners care more about their paint than a person driving a sub-compact Toyota? Don't want to mess with those Mercedes drivers and their paint jobs. It could get ugly.

3 comments:

sherah said...

Take your hands off the wheel and step away from the car ma'am. I can totally relate Doris. I didn't gain wait until I got a car. I hate driving in Austin. It really can be very intense. Because gas has gone up so much we try very hard to not drive at all on the weekends. At the worst, I let Scott drive me like in "Driving Miss Daisy". I recommend that idea!Love, Sheila

Rena said...

I love small towns sucha as Richland, WA. The roads are very wide with few cars. Aiken is not that bad either. If I can use mass transit system, I would give up my car, so I love Hong Kong.

I have not lived in MD for almost 4 years, the trafic is terrible now. Luckly, I do not have to drive at rush hrs when I am going back to MD. Take care and drive safe.

Doris said...

Sheila - after I wrote this and I saw your message, I was wondering if you still had your Mercedes wagon? Did that thing ever get out of your driveway? What is gas up to these days anyways? I have no idea..