13 Nov

I’ve been driving in the UK for a couple weeks.  So far, an encouraging lack of vehicular manslaughter and/or mayhem has occurred. I’m not counting the post who snuck up my driveway and threw himself into the side of the mini-van as I was parking in front of my house.  He had a death wish.  Other than that, it’s been … boring.  Wheel, lane, lights, it’s not so different from the US.

Yesterday I did get a little disoriented on the way home from a birthday party.  The party was for an eight-year old girl and took place at a tenpin bowling center near Gloucester.  When I think of birthday bowling parties, I think of the local bowling alley, maybe some pizza, cheesy music, carpets from the 70s saturated with soda.  This is not that bowling alley.

You know the huge shiny new bowling center with glow lights and a sound system powerful enough to carry Metallica live?  Me neither, but that’s where this place just gets started.  Add to that your local pool hall.  Add to that the largest soft play and climbing area you have every seen.  There were racing slides inside the climbing cages.  Add to that a blingety-bling-bling game center worthy of the loudest boardwalk arcade.  Add to that a sports bar during a championship game.  There was vodka.  Add to that a disco, a rave, and an emcee who sounds like a BBC Radio One morning show host.  And add to that a cafe pressing out espresso drinks.  It awesome.

Also, for all the same reasons, it was horrible.  Between the lights and the screaming you don’t know if you’re having fun or if you should call the police.  By the time we stumbled out into the afternoon sunlight, I was hoarse from yell-talking with the other moms, blind from the strobing, and looking for Charon so I could thank him for guiding our boat of madness out of hell.  So, when I say I was disoriented as I drove away … that is the picture you should have in your mind.

My first clue that all was not as it should be was the face of the driver in the van I passed along the roundabout.  It looked something like this:

The second clue was the face of the driver who was coming towards me in my lane in the roundabout.  It looked something like this:

My final clue was my daughter, asking carefully, “Mommy, don’t you usually say ‘go LEFT, go LEFT, go LEFT?”

Oh yes, I drove the wrong way around a roundabout.  And then turned directly into traffic and drove over a median to get back in to the correct lane.  All the while yelling (because I’m deaf from the bowling-gone-wild party) “IT’S OK HONEY WE’RE FINE” and doing that stupid ‘Thank you’ wave at the other cars.  Thank you!  Thank you!  I’d like to thank to Academy for recognizing all my hard work in becoming the moron I am today!  Thank you!  Why yes, I AM American!”

That was exciting.


9 Responses to “Roundabout”

  1. Katy Linda, IBCLC (@Stylin_Momma) November 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Oh no!! I’m so glad you were all ok, how crazy that must have been!!

  2. Zazzy November 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    OMG what a lot of excitement! It must’ve made you feel truly ALIVE! I can just picture you and your “go left” mantra. It reminds me of when I switched from a manual transmission to an automatic, constantly chanting “there is no clutch there is no clutch there is no clutch” while behind the wheel. I fear trying to drive on the wrong side of the road.

    • Monique November 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Ug, I tried driving our (manual) rental car once and broke down into tears. My brain could not adapt to stick shift AND drive on the left. But auto on the left has been fine … bowling-related madness excepted.

  3. Andrea November 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    I laughed, oh, I laughed … Out loud! It just kept getting funnier, driving over the median, the thank you wave! Oh, thank YOU, for this random moment of humor in an otherwise nauseous day :). Which roundabout was it? I just want to laugh some more the next time I drive through it! Oh, and of course, i’m glad you are your children are okay!

    • Monique November 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      Hahahaha! I should put down a marker: “Monique was an idiot HERE”. (Of course, I’ll end up needing a LOT of markers.)

  4. Tesni December 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I’m English and I did that once. Thankfully it was a rural roundabout and no one was around. My friend told me to turn right…so I did without thinking….I forgot that you have to go around the roundabout first. Woops!

    • Monique December 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      You make me feel better — glad it’s not just us crazy Americans turning wrong way round (sometimes) (when under the influence of bowling centers or friends).


  1. This is probably a bad idea « Crumpets in Camelot - January 6, 2012

    […] Here’s comes the ROUNDABOUT!  Don’t worry, except for that one time, I rarely crash in to things in roundabouts.  It all seems to be a game of follow-the-leader.  […]

  2. Bee-bop-biscotti « Crumpets in Camelot - January 14, 2012

    […] home after a long day of pruning rose bushes, talking to squirrels, narrowly avoiding yet another roundabout catastrophe, ogling old churches, and wondering yet again why British women keep forgetting to put on all their […]

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