Driving Around the World

Driving in different countries around the world is a interesting experience in personal development. Aha, methinks, we have a provocative beginning here! I find little major differences in left hand and right hand as I am equally competent or inept (as the case may be) notwithstanding which side of the car I enter or which side of the pavement (is that international or regional?) I am on. The major differences lie in the sizes of the vehicles and the sizes of the “space available for my vehicle” to occupy.
Most of the world I have driven in (4 continents so far – missing Africa and South America – and I am not counting Antarctica at all) utilizes smaller vehicles. Only North America is lodged in larger and more space consuming traffic. As a result I’ve usually driven smaller vehicles in the traveling around and driving.
The current escapade has us in the South of France, primarily in the Cote d’Azur. The car a relatively mid-sized car (compared to the tiny models available) – a Renault Scenic (kinda like a small station wagon). The latest amusing excursion was to San Tropez – a tiny community on the Med. We drove over with ease and very little traffic (choose a great time to go down) and came back as the flow of traffic rose (Sunday afternoon-evenings have people out and about en masse). I also want to add a tidbit of info – we have been on a continuous media fast for almost 5 years and as a result do not know any news or area happenings. AND we experience a fairly major rain storm in our area in the last few days (our Sunday drive was sunny and warm). This brings us to facts we did know have: there was some major flooding in and around the areas we drove through and by going down to San Tropez AND  the route we chose to return to our wonderful Le Rouret was THROUGH an area that was severely damaged in the floods.
The “what happened next” is somewhat simple … we were diverted to smaller roads – ok … how many said or thought “so what?”????? Smaller roads in France are different from smaller roads in any other country I have driven – including some very small and undeveloped areas of Asia. Smaller roads in France can only be described as “mostly large enough for 1 normal American car” – and this is a two lane, windy through the hills, meeting other cars going in the opposite direction, fun drive home. Only took an extra two hours to get to the highway (instead of about 20 minutes with the normal route open).
So, it was fun and also a “personal development experience” – how so??? Picture a road with no “cliff side” barriers or protective walls on a path that is barely wide enough for two of the small cars of the region to pass comfortably and you get to experience personal growth. Examining our mortality as we pass – mirror barely missing mirror – with wheels on or over the line painted on the edge of the road surface. This compares to jumping out of airplanes or walking on fire. The remaining question is: how does the fact that we reached our destination without incident add or modify the experience?
Makes you think.
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