When we first got here, we talked a lot about how we felt like babies, having to re-learn everything again. Well I guess now we've developed since then because now I'm a teenager learning how to drive.
Matt and Mary Virginia left for furlough yesterday and they left their car for us and the Sasses to drive. We're excited about having the use of a car for over a month and the minute we dropped them off at the airport, we started listing the places we want to go with it. So often on our shopping expeditions, we're limited in what we can buy. Even if we're fortunate enough to get a taxi that's not a hatchback and doesn't have a tank in the trunk, the driver is another passenger, so that leaves little space inside the car for extra stuff. (That's not to say we haven't crammed an incredible amount of stuff inside taxis!)
So first on the list was Sam's Club. I needed to get some stuff for this weekend's Team Thanksgiving Dinner. Unfortunately, Russ had an appointment this morning. He suggested that I drop him off and then go on in the car by myself.
I've driven a handful of times here but most of my experience has been limited to our neighborhood or going to and from the Parkers', which is a pretty straightfoward route. Today, however, was right through town.
People often ask us how the drivers are here. Honestly, I don't think they drive that poorly. I will say, though, that it is a completely different driving style than my own. Those of you who know me well know that I'm a fairly "by the book" kind of person and I like everything to be in its place. Hm. Doesn't really work here. You can't stay in your lane all the time and politely signal when you want to change lanes. You can't come to a complete stop before you pull out of parking lot. So I'm relearning.
I don't have it all down yet. My neck is tired from the number of shoulder checks (and re-checks!) I did today. But after a few minutes of driving, I fell in step with the rhythm of the other cars. It's like a dance (and sometimes, as I experienced in a harried cab ride yesterday, slalom skiing). And the longer I drove, the more I understood it. Now I understand why taxi drivers always hang out in the left lanes of one street before crossing over quickly to our exit on the right. I understand why I have to be flexible about where exactly the lanes are. But I did it- I made it to Sam's and home again and I've got the Kraft Dinner to prove it!