Saturday, August 20, 2005

I was Driving in England....

There is a band from the 80's I used to love called, "The Swirling Eddies." They were a not well-known band that delivered most of their messages in parables. One song went, "I was driving in England on the Santa Ana Freeway, somebody's screamin' out, "You're goin' down the wrong way"....
Fortunately, I didn't actually go the wrong way except when there weren't any cars around.

Driving was a bit scary at first. Deep down, I was worried my primary impulse would be to hop to the wrong side of the road in case of emergency. I pondered a couple times if that changed the "suicide seat" to the driver's seat or if it just meant we'd all be in trouble if we got hit. It wasn't a thought I harbored long...

I did declare a bit of marshal law on the topic of direction-giving. I knew driving would be challenging enough, but I couldn't have 3 intelligent women trying to direct me and therefore creating arguments amongst each other. It did work for the most part.

Finding the hostel in York was the most frustrating (I admit I was near tears), but that perhaps due to the fact I hadn't looked at a map myself. Thereafter, Joyce and I spent time before each trip looking at maps and then checking them together along the way. It helped me ensure a sense of direction. Next time, I'll remember to pack a compass.

Getting (not lost) turned around north of Amble (we never actually made it there) was one of my favorite times driving. There weren't many cars on the roads and we just wandered around, looking for anything labled "A1". There was this one young man we encountered on a bridge pushing a pram (that's a baby-carriage for you non-brit speakers). "Hi! Excuse me, but do you know how to get to the A1?"
"Hm well, its a bit far from here... you just... you jus' go up the road here and you'll come across a high um... wall. Its really high. You jus' follow it 'round till it goes to the left. You ya don' wan' ta follow it. Ya wanna go to theh uh.. theh... (at this point, he is motioning with his right arm towards the right. It is flapping around...) the wall goes to the righ' an' ya go ta the um... uh.. to theh..."
"Right?"
"Yeah, go to theh right. Then you'll come to a roundabout an you go.... blah blah..."
because that is about all I heard. Inside my head I'm thinking, "Great, we're getting directions from a guy who can't say the word "right." This is painful."

When he finished, I said, "So, we'll see you back here in about 15 minutes, huh?"
He laughed. I did too... but sure enough, about 15 minutes later, we passed the same spot going the opposite direction.

I now understand how in British Literature, there can be stories of people thinking they were bewitched and that was why they were lost. I mean really, we are four intelligent, college-educated women. We are logical and sensible... yet we drove around the same 10 square miles for over 2 hours!

1 comment:

@bdul muHib said...

I know Swirling Eddies/Daniel Amos Band/Daniel Band! They were a hot Jesus Freak band back in the day- loved their stuff. Sorry they ended, but they did have a very long run. The direction they took was a big improvement on the original country western I think.