Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stay Left

It's hard to overstate how pervasive and how subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) troubling is the fact that they drive on the left here. It bleeds into walking too, which is actually something I've long wondered about: whether people tend to keep to the same side they drive on. Even people that don't drive will be forced to, more often that not, yield in that direction, due to the people that do drive being so instinctively united in keeping to that side (That said, driving on the left is exclusive to the UK in this corner of the world, and this city is so full of foreigners having the same difficulties as myself, that there is little consistency at all in which direction people here tend to when walking.)
Speaking of instinct, it's not. It's entirely learned behaviour, but after s many years, it's ingrained at such a level, it may as well be instinct. It takes concious effort to overcome.
One mistake I made in preparing to come here (though I can't think of any way I could have done better) was to think to myself "I'm a bright guy, I'll have no trouble adapting to driving on the left, or crossing streets where they do." Thus spoke a fool. I hadn't bargained for how automatic it all is, how it's just take for granted. After nearly two months here, I still check over the wrong shoulder if my concentration lapses for a moment, which it tends to do frequently. I find it a minor miracle that I haven't been hit yet (especially considering how they drive here,) let alone not even caused anyone to squeal to a stop lest they hit me.

On an entirely unrelated note, I tried a new pub in my neighbourhood for dinner tonight. It's right next to the tube station, so it could hardly be more convenient. It's called The Tabard. I stopped in here one morning, a few weeks back, when I was peckish to see if they had anything breakfast like. All they had was ham & egg & chips, which was pretty tasty, and hit the spot, but was way too much food, and cost a bit much for breakfast as a result. I do remember that the ginger ale they had was very good (Yes, I was hungover. I never used to like ginger ale until Sara made me drink a bunch, very watered down, when I had food poisoning. I've liked it ever since.) Anyway, I had sausages and mash here tonight, with a pint of Tetley's, for less than a "tenner", $20, and it was quite good, and sufficiently filling, so I'll certainly be back. The crowd here tonight looks to be my age as well, and they have an outdoor patio, and theatre where they put on plays, so this has the makings of being my local, I think.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Re: Pub; Question answered then!

Also congratulations on staying in one piece ;)

Does being a Canadian make you "cute" like it does here?