Turning Left in London
I’ve written about our magical year in the early 1970s when my husband Danny worked in his company’s London office. (See Laundry Day in London,, Valentine’s Day in Foggytown, Kinky Boots and Intro to Cookery)
Here’s another story.
Before we left for our London sojourn we went to the DMV, presented our New York drivers licenses, paid a fee, and were issued international licenses.
Once settled in London Danny enjoyed his work, and I kept busy taking courses and learning my way around that wonderful city. Then after a few months we planned our first holiday – a road trip around Scotland. (See Taking the High Road)
We went to a car rental agency where Danny showed his international license and we were given a car along with reminders about the difference between driving in the States and in Britain.
Danny, always an excellent driver, would be doing all the driving, and after practicing for a few blocks, he proudly declared he’d mastered the right-side steering wheel. And, he assured me, driving in the left lane on a two way road was also a piece of cake.
And then feeling fully confident he took that first disastrous left turn — into the wrong lane and the oncoming traffic!
He swerved in time and we survived unscathed, and that year we rented a few more cars, and took a few more lovely road trips around Britain.
But apparently having an international drivers license doesn’t guarantee you’re a skilled international driver. Altho turning right came easy, Danny never did quite nail that bloody British left hand turn!
And we learned that even crossing the street in London can be risky unless you remember to “Look right, then left.”
(And it’s best to watch out for any Yankees with international drivers licenses who just might be coming down the road!)
– Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!