But they put the gear stick on the wrong side

A good friend of ours, Martin, is flying out from the UK to join us for Christmas so I thought it would be a good idea to hire a car to run between here and the Airport. Will also be good for trips out and also collecting my two sons from the Airport on Boxing days as well.

Having got used to driving in a right hand drive vehicle on the right hand side of the road I thought no problem, it will be easy.I had booked it at the reception of the site were on and told to go there on the day of collection at 10 am.

On the day of collection I went up to reception expecting to collect the car then have a little drive around the site to get used to it before venturing out on to the road. However this was not the case at all.  A chap had come down from Calahonda, a few miles down the road where the car hire company was located, to collect me and take me to the office where they can do all the necessary paperwork.I’m thinking all the way there I hope they are going to take me back and not expect me to find my own way.

Guess what? Yep that’s exactly what didn’t happened. Having completed the paperwork, given me a complimentary bottle of wine for Christmas (Really!!) I was shown a car parked out on the road and given the keys. Oh great, not only do I have to find my own way back without my trusty sat nav but I’ve got to cope with a left hand drive car. Oh well if Jeremy Clarkson can do it so can I, I hope.

Now I was quite happy driving on the right hand side of the road so this should be OK and despite having to sit on the wrong side of the car the pedals are still the same way round, that was a relief I tell you, but hold on…. they’ve put the gear stick on the wrong side. How they hell am I supposed to change gear with my right hand? Errr are the gears in the same place?  Phew they are.

So I sit there for several minutes, no doubt to the amusement of the car hire staff, and fiddle around to see if I can do the gear changes with the wrong hand.  Mmmmm not so bad think I can get the hang of this.

Fortunately  the road its parked on is quite quiet so I pull out and head down the road. Bang, ouch, wrong hand to change gear. Get to the roundabout slow down, bang, ouch, wrong hand, sod it. Take what I believe is the correct exit (it was) bang, f****, wong hand AGAIN, and this goes on several more times at least and I hate Jeremy Clarkson now, smug git.

Slowly I start to remember which hand to use and things improve. Anyone who thinks that using pain to teach  doesn’t work is an idiot. It does, and my left hand has some nice bruises to prove it.

By the time I get back to the site I am beginning to get it but I am still very not happy about having so much car on my right hand side and don’t believe I will really ever get used to it (its not natural). So when it comes time to upgrade the Motor Home think I will stick with a right hand drive even tough I wont be spending very much time at all in the UK.

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