Sunday, 27 September 2009

Driving on the right side

I’ve done a few name-and-shame posts in the past. This is the opposite. I’m going to kick off with a bit of credit-where-credit’s-due. Before our trip to the UK is asked some friends from my home town what local car rental companies they’d recommend. The response seemed to be that hiring from Gatwick Airport was the best option: it’s just down the road and we’d be flying in and out of there so it was convenient. Hertz were the cheapest for basic rental, although not necessarily for adding a second driver, so we made an online registration. When we came to pick up our Group B Fiesta or equivalent we discovered it had morphed into a Group C Focus, and at no extra costs. No complaints there!

So after two weeks of racking up the miles around southern England I was beginning to wonder how things would be when I got back to driver on the right (or should that be right-hand side?) of the road. This is question everyone asks. How easy is it switching? Well, thankfully I’ve had no problems so far. I have a few thoughts on why. Perhaps the familiarity of the roads plays a part, both those I was driving in the UK and those I’ve returned to in Mostar. Mostar is tiny compared to, say, driving the width of London, which we did two Sundays ago so being familiar with its roads is not too hard. Also driving a vehicle with the steering wheel on the appropriate side does helps. I’ll confess the first few days in England I caught myself reaching for a non-existent gear stick with my right hand a couple of times, but being on the right side of the vehicle kept me on the right (or left!) side of the road. With trips to Dubrovnik and Sarajevo coming up in the next few days it’s a good thing the switch isn’t difficult.

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