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2014/03/17 / tocovava



The sun disappeared outside of Wellington. It might have been obscured by the clouds of exhaust I made as I ground gears in the rental car. Stick shift (automatic at home), driver’s side on the right side of the car (left side at home), and a hill to climb (flat at home) caused only a little confusion. Thankfully no accidents, and not even a unfriendly toot of the horn by other drivers. At one point I was pleased to think I was setting quite a jaunty pace as I led twenty cars around a bend. Up ahead I saw a sign for a scenic overlook. I hit the windshield wipers to signal my lane change. I meant to hit the directional signal. The wiper stick and the directional stick are reversed in the kiwi rental. As I swore at over half of the globe’s drivers for having everything on the wrong side, I made like Simon Rattle and threw my hands around trying to shut off the wipers and put on the directional all while changing lanes at quite a jaunty pace. Twenty cars zoomed by as I moved over. Turns out I was in the passing lane not the driving lane. The scenic overlook was nice. This was lunch.

I stopped at the scenic overlook because I had given up the idea of driving into the Tararua Forest Park for a swim in Waiohine Gorge. The air was too cold, pitter-patter rain at times. I showed my honor for nature by running the directional signals–meant to use the windshield wipers of course.

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