I like little cars, in all my (admitted limited) experience driving they always have been, a Peugeot 206, a Mazda2 and a Ford Ka. I’m little, they’re little, we understand each other.
The entire week before the boyfriend had reassured me that it was going to be a Micra, he had broken his wrist and couldn’t do the driving so it was all down to me. All I was worried about was the automatic end of things – because apparently in Australia automatics are the norm and manuals are more expensive to buy? What’s that all about? Madness! So I’m talking to my housemate, watching his driving, freaking myself out and trying to figure out how the whole ‘non-clutch’ aspect works. When the boyfriend and I arrived in Tasmania on Thursday night, and I found myself standing in front of a gigantic Nissan Pulsar rather than a dainty Nissan Micra, I nearly died. What happened to my little micra? How was I going to manoeuvre this humongous beast? What if I’d completely forgotten how to drive in the seven weeks since I’d left the UK? Panic, panic, panic.
Also, I’m a tad dramatic. If you hadn’t figured that one out by now.
Okay, so the car wasn’t actually that big, but it was to me. It had a big boot and a long nose and was just a general ‘adult’ car – ya’know the type. Also it was about 10:30pm when we arrived so I was driving on an unlit road too. OH, and they drive in kilometres instead of miles (which they do in the UK) so there was all types of thinking and confusion going on.
There were a few heart palpitating moments, a few jerky moments with the brake, the indicators were on the right side of the wheel rather than the left, so every time I went to indicate I ended up turning on the windscreen wiper – oops. Turning the car was a whole other experience, and finding the switch for the lights while going 100km on a motorway was great fun!
But we got back to the airport in one piece. It took a lot chilling out and little pep talks to myself, but we got there in the end and after the first day, I felt pretty comfortable in it. I’m now actually considering getting something similar purely on the space! So much space!
Here’s a few pointers when getting into a foreign car for the first time though,
- Try not to drive it for the first time in the dark… on an unlit road.
- Take a few minutes to set up your seat, I wasn’t completely comfortable until my second day.
- Familiarize yourself with the indicators/lights/windscreen wiper functions.
However, when you tell someone you’re going to hire a micra, please hire a damned micra!