Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So we have realized that while many aspects of life over here are similar to what we were used to in the states, there are differences we never expected.

Take for instance driving. We knew to expect cars to drive on the opposite side of the street, but didn't realize that this would affect us in so many ways. When crossing the street, I never realized how engrained in my mind it was to look to the the left, and then to the right in order to cross. You do that here and you are road kill! Looking right first is the way to ensure safe crossing. Then there are the drive-thru windows. Never did it enter our minds that one would go around a drive-thru clockwise!

When entering a building that has multiple doors, you enter on the left and always walk on the left side of the sidewalk to keep traffic flowing.

Another thing that is different is the signs! The stop signs look like the yield signs you would see back in the states, and then we kept seeing this sign all over the place.

What looks similar to the "illegal immigrant" signs you'd find all over southern California, or maybe a warning that people might be running and to watch out for them, this is simply an exit sign.

We have learned a lot in just a few days on how to live here, and we still have a lot to learn!!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Hi Kari -

Reading your blog (hope you don't mind).

I once lived on Guam, and Japanese tourists would go there quite frequently - it's the nearest point of American land to Japan, and it's warm, so plenty of tourists. For the longest time, I couldn't understand why so many tourist pedestrians got clocked by cars! It happened at least weekly. Then, I went to Japan... and tried crossing the street. Lightbulb moment, just as you say.

Driving on the opposite side of the street takes a little getting used to. The danger comes when you return to the States. I got back to the states after several months abroad, and came to an intersection and completely didn't know what to do! Frozen, stuck, confused. and embarrassed.

I'm looking forward to following your adventure.

(Kayakeverywhere - Flickr)