Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Smokey Robinson did NOT write Cruisin' in Britain...

I'd like to start this post out with a disclaimer: it does not reflect ALL driver's in the UK - just every one I've encountered thus far...

I consider myself to be a... decent driver. I'm no chauffeur, that's for sure... I probably ride the brake a little harder than I should... And I'm definitely not a stick-shift driver (though experience may improve that...). As such, I'm not usually very critical of others' driving...

Conversely, though, I'm prone to car sickness (also why I can't do carnival rides...) If the driver tends to not use cruise control and heavily accelerates/decelerates or lays on the gas, then abruptly lets go, I don't do well. I've also found that rapid turns and wiggling/wobbling between the white lines tends to elicit a queasiness on my part...

When you put all that together, and mix it in with British driving, you get one VERY carsick Christine. I have experienced: a three hour coach bus ride here from London; regular shuttles (about 15-passenger van size) to/from Grantham (about 10 minutes, tops); a coach bus trip to Lincoln (1 hour away); taxi rides to/from Grantham (ten minutes in a regular car); and now a coach bus trip to Melton/Mowbray (approx. 20 mins).

What I've learned:

1) British roads are curvy. The main highways are not as bad, but this is mostly farmland, and the roads tend to wind they way through/around the farm plots.

2) Roads are very narrow. It sometimes because difficult to maneuver a coach bus around a curve, with other large trucks/vehicles coming the opposite way, all while very close. Sometimes the ride gets a little jerky...

3) Many vehicles are stick shift. I don't know if I've been in a single automatic here... That means the ride gets a little jerky...

4) British drivers have lived with roads like this all their life... It's normal!

and 5) As such, they are perfectly confident and comfortable with just whipping around the corners, down/up-shifting erratically (at least, it seems like it to me!), quickly accelerating/decelerating to ... I don't know... make the trip faster? And just in general giving their riders quite a trip...

Up to this point in my life, the most car-sick I had ever been was one particular journey from Eau Claire to the Minneapolis airport. It was probably a two hour trip, and I really thought I wasn't going to make it... Today, I've reached that state in about 20 minutes. Twice.

I think I'm going to go take a nap.... = (

3 comments:

Matthew C said...

"As such, I'm not usually very critical of others' driving..."

Really? I've got a Geo and and ego that would beg to differ.

Christine Zani said...

Oh it could be much .... MUCH.... worse... Perhaps you're only getting the tip of the iceburg... And I'm pretty sure it's not the Geo's fault...

MC said...

Isn't it awesome that Geo and ego are anagrams?