Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

by venitha

Telling my left from my right has always been a challenge for me. I blame my mother, from whom I believe I inherited this trait, and Mrs. Mueller, my kindergarden teacher, who treacherously always had us face the same direction in our classroom when we practiced this new skill. Evil woman. I envision her in her backroom, rubbing her hands together and cackling with glee in having sabotaged yet another grade of unsuspecting West Salem children. If it wasn't for that song, who knows what havoc she'd have wreaked with the alphabet. Truly, I should just be thankful that I can read.

Despite these stellar excuses, here I sit today, at the ripe old age of 36, still not able to tell left from right without thinking about it. Combine this fact with the mind-numbing heat in Singapore and cars driving on the other side of the road here and lots of one-way streets and people parking facing both directions on streets and my not driving here or even riding in cabs much and my not having driven much at all during my last three months in the US thanks to my knee and my beloved chauffeur/mother-in-law and there being a lot of drugs then anyway and then having only one car to share with Jim for the last few weeks in the US when I could actually drive again but we'd already sold our second car in preparation for our move and.... well, you can perhaps understand my confusion.

And by that confusion I mean that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out which direction the traffic goes on a street. Unless there is actually a car driving on the street, of course. My humidity/morphine/expatriate-addled brain is still capable of some minor functions. But if I'm just standing on a lonely street corner? Not a chance. And if I'm looking at a map? Oh, please.

Of course, I also have to think a fair bit these days before I can tell you which side of the car is the driver's side. Deep down in my subconscious, kiasu neurons jealously guard this information and stubbornly refuse to share it with my waking mind. Twice now I've looked up and done a gasping double-take at a dog driving a car!