Driving Me Crazy
Driving in Los Angeles has been, and will no doubt continue to be, a hell of an experience. Here are some reflections:
- I may manage to make it through the entire four days without ever knowing the speed limit, or how fast I am actually going (60 on the freeway…sound about right?). Slightly slower than everyone else seems sensible.
- My GPS talks in feet and miles. When it says, “in half a mile, turn right onto…”, it might as well say “sometime soon”.
- Four way stops – what’s that all about? As far as I can tell, everyone stops, and the person who stops first gets to go first, after checking that none of the others are jump-the-gun assholes (there are no arses here).
- Pedestrian crossings are not what they seem. They are more an instruction of where people should cross once the white (yes, white) hand appears. Someone should tell them that white isn’t really a ‘go’ kind of colour.
- See that enormous parking space? Nope, the fire hydrant says you can’t park there. Thank goodness for US television or I would never have known. Although the hydrants here aren’t red…they’re disappointingly yellow. And I haven’t seen any children playing in their errant streams.
- Nobody seems to pay attention to the clearways…they just stay parked in the apparent face of being towed. The fire hydrants are a different matter…everyone respects those.
- Right is tight – left is wide, right is tight – left is wide…repeat ad infinitum.
- Every time I turn left, I look to the left to see if anything is coming. Nothing ever is. Why? Because they are COMING FROM THE RIGHT.
- I suspect there may be a standing ‘turn right on red when clear’ rule, but I’m not prepared to test it. Someone gave me TWO fingers this morning.
- Americans like trucks. It feels like every fourth vehicle is an enormous Chevy truck. It’s beyond me how they ever park them.
- There isn’t any vehicle to the left of where I am sitting, so I literally have to position MYSELF next to the centre line. This feels weirdly risky.
- My goal is to walk to my side of the vehicle before driving, just once. And to not turn the windscreen wipers on unexpectedly whilst driving…although that’s just an unfamiliar car thing.
For the worriers, this is easier (or should I say ‘more feasible’?) than it sounds… 🙂
When I went to Hawaii as a teenager with my mother, my entire job was to keep her on the correct side of the road, and point to the side she should end up when turning corners.