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Come along with me as I attempt to navigate my way through a new country, school system, and life for a year!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

John Denver and Driving

I worked throughout most of this weekend, but since I wrapped things up by 7:00 Sunday night, I rewarded myself with a trip to a neighboring village to see a John Denver tribute.  It felt so American, singing along with "Rocky Mountain High" and "Country Roads"  No one else seemed to be singing along, but "John" (a.k.a  Ivor George)  said we could, and not just on the chorus either, so I took him at his word and belted out every tune (except for one about Earth Day--I'd never heard that one before; not sure how that happened.)    So much fun!  But speaking of country roads, driving here is really a challenge.  I am not exaggerating when I say that many of the country roads here are no wider than bike paths at home, most with embankments or trees that come right up to the edge (although I've never seen the trees being trimmed, so I don't know how they do that; are they just whacked off by the cars whizzing past?)  and some bordered by stone walls.  Now I'm not known for slow driving at home, but here I had to pull over twice tonight to let cars get by me, as the speed limit on these bike paths is 50 miles per hour, and no one really wants to be behind some scared-stiff American going 40.   So far I've never had to back up to let a car come the other way, but I'm sure my day is coming.  There are a few road markings that still mystify me, like the zig-zag lines on either side of the zebra (rhymes with Debra) crossings (which I though meant you can't stop there, but I see people stopped there all the time, so that can't be right) or the curvy arrows that come toward you across the middle lane.  Do those mean someone may drive straight at you at any moment?  Could be, as there are no yellow lines between any lanes, just white lines so there is no way to tell if a road is a two-way road or a one way road as far as I can tell.  Tonight I noticed a sign that really has me wondering. 

What can this possibly mean?  I took this in the dark, but basically it's a white circle with a line through it.  I believe a circle with a line though it means, "Don't do This", but there isn't anything in the circle, so don't do what?  And they are pretty serious about it, as these signs always come in pairs, one on each side of the road, so you better be certain you're not doing whatever you aren't supposed to do.  But there is nothing in the circle, so does it mean "Don't do Nothing" which I guess would mean "Do Something!"  But what should I do?   Maybe it means "No Full Moon Allowed"?  No, that can't be it, it's a full moon tonight.  I'm so confused!  Does anyone out there in Blogland know? 


  1. Ironically, I actually know what that sign means! I just asked again today at work and it means that the speed limit is now the national speed limit which is 70 for the major roads (like the M6) and 60mph for the A and B roads. It took me a while to figure out so many of these sign! :)

  2. This was one of your best posts ever! I loved it! First of all, I have my own John Denver memories, so you put me right back into my 12 year old brain! The first album I ever bought was John Denver's Greatest Hits. The second was Back Home Again. I can still vividly see both of those covers. And when I used to go skiing, my friend, Debbie, and I would sing John Denver songs--which ALWAYS included Thank God, I'm a Country Boy and Grandma's Feather Bed!--on the longest chair lifts we could ride! I was so sad when he died. Thanks for a great trip down memory lane. And wouldn't it be great if that sign really did mean "Do Something!" and the whole world finally woke up!


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