Tuesday, January 19

Lesson #50 - Never Drive In England

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Welcome to "Transient Tuesdays"...I am glad that you decided to stop by! Have a seat, kick up your feet and enjoy this week's post from The (Un)Experienced Mom. While I do not share her exact situation, I definitely feel like no one can ever become an "experienced" parent...no matter how hard we try. This is one funny lady, folks. Please enjoy her travel tales from England!!!

Since many of you aren't familiar with me or my blog, The (Un)Experienced Mom, let me take a moment to introduce myself.


I am the mom of two boys under 3 years old and was a therapist before I became a SAHM. I started my blog to encourage moms to accept the easy and hard times in motherhood. Why did I call it The (Un)Experienced Mom? Because even after having two kids, I still feel like a rookie most days! Oh, and I am also an honorary Brit. No, I wasn't knighted by the Queen Mum, but I did marry a British man which means I am pretty close to royalty, right? Most of you might be thinking, "That's so cool that you married a British guy who has a sexy accent!" And you'd be right. Sexy....check! Accent...double check! And I get to vacation in England every 12-18 months (if you can call staying with your mother-in-law in a cracker-jack-box cozy home for 2 weeks a vacation). I admit, it's pretty cool, but I can't help feeling so out of place when I am there.
For starters, I never remember that the driver's side is the right side of the car. I can't tell you how many times I've opened up the driver's side thinking it was the passenger's side, only to see hubby looking at me with a smile and asking "You driving?" Or how many times I've almost gotten run over because I look the wrong way at intersections (it's a very good thing that they have written, in really large white letters: LOOK LEFT or LOOK RIGHT for idiots like me!). Recently, I started to think about whether or not I'd ever be able to drive over there. What if something happened to my hubby when he was driving and I needed to take the wheel? Besides not knowing how to drive stick, which most of the cars are in England, I have NO idea what most of the signs mean. Seriously. Let's take a look at some and see if you could figure them out!

If I was driving and I saw this sign, I'm pretty sure I'd be thinking, "What?! Is my car going to explode?" I have never seen a sign like that in this country, so I had no clue what it meant. After looking it up, I found out it means, No Vehicles Carrying Explosives. Really? We need a sign for this? Shouldn't that be a rule no matter what? And if it's around a construction site, shouldn't the vehicle on the sign be a truck instead of a passenger car?

So I had to look this one up, too. For starters, I don't know what a verge is. Do you? When I saw this sign, I thought, "Does this mean I have to drive on the curb for 2 miles?" It actually means that for 2 miles, there is a soft shoulder or no curb. I'm not really sure why you'd need to know that unless you were driving on a cliff somewhere and you liked to drive dangerously close to the edge of the road.

This one made me think, "Is this a warning that people will randomly be driving off the edge of the road?" But it actually means that there is a Quay Side or Riverbank (by the way, I thought QUAY was "ke-way" but hubby said it sounds like "key"). This means just what it says....be warned that there is a body of water nearby, so drive extra carefully. And maybe be aware of those drivers around you who are depressed...just in case. I asked hubby why you'd need this sign, because unless a road just suddenly stopped at the river and there were no gates to stop people, this sign doesn't really seem necessary. He told me they would use it at a loading dock. Ok, so that makes sense.

I've actually seen this sign in person. I knew what it meant because of the picture, but the wording had me cracking up. Of course, my mind immediately went there. I've never heard of a road bump referred to as a hump. Makes sense, sure, but when they were coming up with this sign, didn't they think it sounded just a little dirty? They couldn't have found another synonym for bump?

I had to include this sign because it's hilarious! Obviously this sign has something to do with watching out for old people. (The actual wording for this sign is "Watch out for frail elderly people"). But I don't remember ever seeing a sign like this around here. Then again, I don't frequent old folks' homes. In this example, this sign is ironically posted right by a sign pointing to a nearby cemetary. That's just not right!
Last but not least, those pesky roundabouts. I remember the first time I saw one of those, I was utterly intimidated. And honestly, I am still intimidated. I sit and study what's going on when we pull up to one. It's really pretty simple in theory; it's essentially like a 4-way stop over here. Except, I get very nervous at a roundabout. The only one we have around here is in a residential neighborhood and I am usually the only one going around it at the time. This picture pretty much sums up what it'd be like to go around a roundabout with me driving:

When I asked my hubby who has the right-of-way at a roundabout, he said he'd forgotten. He's been in the States for 8 years now and only been back to England a handful of times since then. I said to him, "How do you not remember? We're going back there in May and you're driving!" His answer was, "I'll figure it out before we go."  You bet I will be quizzing him on this on our descent into Heathrow.

So there you have it. My trips to England have taught me that even though I am a stellar driver over here, I have no business driving in the UK. I get into the wrong side of the car, I can't remember which way to look at an intersection, and I don't understand (and make fun of) the road signs. Let's just hope we never move there!


Jamee said...

This post is hilarious! Love the sign pics! Stopping by from SITS!

"And so our stories go..." said...

My husband and I have spent a lot of time in England and I've never driven there...he always does. You're right it is a challenge...but you make it funny.

Amy said...

My Dad just got back from London..

MamaOtwins+1 said...

I cannot even imagine trying to drive over there - I wouldn't know which way to look first. Love those pictures!

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

i totally get what ur saying about the driving. we spent about 8 days in ireland/scotland and the driving made me a nervous wreck. but get this ...when we got back and got in the car to head home...i freaked out b/c i forgot about driving on the correct side back home and thought ppl were going to hit us. took me a few days to get it straight again! ha ha...

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I lived in France and they had those round abouts, and they about killed me every dang time!!

Shandal said...

Those signs are killers. LOL. Why the heck do they even drive on the other side of the road and drive on the other side of the car?

The Princess of Sarcasm said...

I'm so glad we do everything the right way here in the US. ;)

Morgan said...

Awesome.. i love the round about image.. is that one word?

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Did they steal the Humps sign from the bottom of Fergie's driveway?

Life Is A SandCastle said...

Can't wait to show my husband that sign.


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