09 September, 2014

Culture shock while driving

Look at this lovely road we drive on every time we
leave home in Australia! 
I've done so much more driving here than I ever do in Japan, mostly because things are just much further apart. One of the closest places to us that we go to regularly is the school, and it is 3.5km away (instead of 300m). 

Today I drove 20 minutes to take our son to the doctor, some of that drive was a 100km/hr as we're close to an expressway. We go that far because we have a medical centre we like and have used since our first home assignment in 2004/5 and have just stuck with it, even though it means a bit of a drive. 

View out of the front bedroom. The road
changes width just there.
As I was driving home, our ever observant son pointed out that the two lane road we were on was very wide. Indeed he was right. At that point the road could have been four lanes and still been more spacious than many roads in Tokyo.

Yes, driving here is much easier than in Tokyo. The traffic is less, the roads are wider and there are generally few pedestrians, cyclists, poles, road signs or rubbish bins on the roads to dodge! 

Can you see that power pole on the road?
That's outside our house.
I'm serious! On the two-way road we live on in Tokyo there are all of the above. Very often you have to give way to a car coming the other way because you can't get around one of the above obstacles on the road. Then when you get to the end of the road: a T-intersection, you often have to jiggle a bit to give way to cars turning into the road because there simply isn't room for them to get past you while you give way at the actual intersection. 

I could write a lot about driving differences, but I really need to get to bed, so I'll just give you one more: this is something I've been tempted to do in Australia, but somehow I don't think other drivers would understand my Japanese non-verbals.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bus and truck drivers here in Australia have been saying thanks with hazard lights for years.