Thankfully, Mr Fix It is an international traveler and is used to this. So when we arrived in Australia and picked up our rental car, he was able to easily adapt and became the official driver of the trip. The main thing I learned in Australia is that it's basically like home, but they have a lot of different signs and lots of turnabouts. If you don't know what those are, they are basically round intersections where no one ever has to stop. They look like this:
And you're warned about them with this sign:
I really loved the signs in Oz...here's a few that are a little different from what we have back here in the States:
Instead of a sign showing a rest stop/area ahead, they tell you this:
Instead of 'Exit' signs, the airport directed us with this:
It made me feel like they were trying to tell me to get the hell out and FAST!
And instead of a passing lane sign, they call it:
Anyway, as far as the roundabouts, we don't really have these in abundance at home. On about day 4 of our stay in Oz, we finally figured out the program and learned that you have to stay to the inside of the circle if you are going through to the 3rd or 4th exit...otherwise, you are forced to exit on the first or second street you come up to.
Mr Fix It was scared that I would be a total stress case because we both argue with each other over who is the worse driver. He likes to sight see while driving which freaks the heck out of me since you should typically have your eyes on the road while your hands are on the steering wheel, but I guess that isn't the case in his world. I stayed pretty calm for the entire trip...even during the one or two times he drove down the *wrong* side of the road in Australia!
But driving in Bali was entirely different. Nothing could have prepared me for the carnage that they provide by means of motor vehicle transportation.
First off, we had to rent a car that was basically an ancient mini van to store Mr Fix It's surfboards in it because you're not supposed to drive with anything on the roof or a rack. After spending an hour at the airport trying to negotiate the terms of a week long rental, we finally jumped into a little van and headed off to find a hotel...only to notice after pulling out of the airport and into the city that the rental car company gave us a car on EMPTY!!! WTH?!? We hadn't even exchanged our money yet so we had no rhupia and no way of finding a gas station in this little 3rd world country.
We proceeded to try to yell out to passers by "Petrol?!?" asking where a gas station was...they pointed and repeated petrol but we never found one from their directions. Thank the Lord we finally came across one and filled up. And thankfully, we only had to fill the tank once the entire week. No problem...except the next day while pulling out early to find our first beach spot, the car suddenly jerked forward and we found that there were no lower gears in the manual transmission...Mr Fix It was left at an intersection with only 2nd and 4th gear. Again, thankfully, we hadn't driven too far so we headed back to the airport and made the guy get us a new vehicle and we were finally on our way.
As we pulled out onto the streets and into the culture and city, I found myself pretty amazed by how different life was here than in my beautiful Orange County in So Cal. There were motorbikes everywhere!!! And horrible roads and traffic no matter what time of the day. I can't even begin to describe it, so I will let this video give you a firsthand experience...enjoy me and Mr Fix It's commentary of a few days of brief video I shot while we were out and about: