One would think, given the relative ease to which I was given permission to drive, it would be congruously easy to actually drive. This is not true...driving on the other side of the road is messed up.
It is not idea of driving on the left that is weird, it is that almost everything in the car is mirrored. The driver's seat is on the right. The stick shift is on the left. The turning signal is operated by the right hand instead of the left. Oddly enough though, the petals aren't mirrored. This does make it less difficult to drive on the correct side of the road (god that sounds weird to call the left side the "correct" side.) Throw in that I have really no idea how fast I am driving (unit conversion and driving don't mix). Just DRIVING proved to more difficult than staying on the left side of the road.
So, onto the story. I open up the drivers' side door, only to find that I was on the passengers' side...stupid car. I start rolling, but forget to shift up until I was going about 35 km/hr (?). Jess starts yelling and I forget what is going on. We pull over and start again. The second time was a little better, but still weird. We pull over again. Finally, we get rolling and I start to remember how to drive. We head into town and start driving with other cars around. After a series of turns where I actually didn't make any mistakes, we come upon the scariest single thing in all of foreign driving, the roundabout.
We have roundabouts in the states, they are just hidden away in side streets and never have any other cars on the them. In Australia, you have to yield to all traffic to the right...that much is the same at least. You signal as if you are turning, so, if you will eventually go to the right, you signal right and vise versa. Not too tough.
I approached the roundabout going too fast, so I slowed down quick to allow the guy on my left to go, then almost killed the car to get going again. I was turning right, so I flipped my windshield wipers to fast and went out into the loop. After a couple of honks, I was finally out and going the right direction. Jess's eyes were glazed over in fear...but we were still alive and almost home.
I pull over to do a U-turn to the parking space in front of Jess's house, only I didn't really know where she lived yet, so I was little early. So, like anybody, I put on the windshield wipers and get ready to pull out. Jess is yelling that there are cars coming, so I turn back to the side of the road and hit the curb at 7km/hr (however fast that may be). Jess jumps out of the car and runs the half a block home...she didn't talk to me for a while. But really, ten minutes of driving with only one accident isn't so bad. You trying completely relearning something you've been doing for ten years? Maybe I'd do better in North Dakota.