Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Driver

8 July 2012

Today I drove our rental car for the first time. "Keep left, keep left, keep left..." is continually going through my mind.

We went with Clare to the local Quaker Meeting this morning. Very warm and welcoming folks (along with a very warm sanctuary). It was nice to participate in a different style of worship. They had a handout for those not familiar with the Quaker structure. It was a very nice summary of what to expect... and what NOT to expect. Afterwards, Mom and I had several nice conversations with people.

Clare took us for lunch to a new sandwich/dessert shop on the edge of the local cricket ground at the cricket pavillion. Clare had to "translate" the menu for us, which is ironic since last week we were in country where I didn't claim to be able to speak the language, but had an easier time knowing what I was reading on a menu.

From the lunch location, we decided I should drive home to get some practice in while Clare was along. The oddest thing to me today wasn't the driving on the left...though that was/is odd. The strangest thing to me was shifting with my left hand. I'd actually have my hand ON the shifter and, when I needed to shift, would take my left hand off the shifter, put it on the steering wheel, and then reach for the DOOR with my right hand. Upon finding nothing but the door, I would need to reverse that action and do this all before I missed a gear, turn, or other traffic related event...

It takes constant vigilance for me to drive and there was NO option of reading a map and/or directions at the same time, so when Clare went to her afternoon meeting and Mom and I headed off, it was up to her to navigate. We headed over to the town center to do some shopping since it was quite rainy. We found the parking lot, found the "purple" zone (which is 1/4 the price of the "red" zone, and walked over to the mall. There was a semi-permanent market outside of it and we looked through some stands. It was a real variety: clothes, food, electronics, household items, etc. When we headed into the mall we found a "TKMaxx" instead of a TJMaxx. We walked through and I found a whole section of Olympic gear. I've been looking for an olympic sweatshirt and I found one that was WAY cheaper than the one I saw in London last week and I liked it a lot better! It doesn't take much to make me a happy camper.

On our way out of the store, my mom said to me, "Do you think they have Dollar Stores in England?" I told her that Nico had told me that they did and, as we came around the corner, there one way. It's called the PoundShop instead, of course, because having a Dollar Store would be really difficult on the exchange rate:-) Mom was in her element and we both found things that would still fit in our overstuffed bags;-) Thrilled with our new purchases, we headed back to The Well to have some tea and get ready for tomorrow.

We had dinner with Clare's community this evening. There was roast potatoes and chicken along with green vegetables, stuffing, gravy, and carrots. It was a very nice evening chatting some more with the folks that Clare shares community with. It's been nice to participate in their lives a bit.

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