Home > Cultural experiences, Daily Life, Pictures > Driving in Tohoku

Driving in Tohoku

So, for those of you who don’t know, in Japan you drive on the left side of the road, and the driver’s seat is on the right side of the car.  Luckily the break and gas petals are still in the same orientation, but otherwise everything else is switched.  Shift gears on the left, seatbelt on the right, windshield wipers on the left, turn signal on the right, look over left shoulder to back up, etc etc.  Lots of confusion.

Well, one of the best ways to get used to driving is to follow others who are driving.  And I had the good fortune (thank you, God) to drive around a whole bunch while we were in Tohoku, mostly while following others.

(Thanks to Brian Tom & Peter Oh for pictures!)

Me in the driver's seat.

They definitely looked at me a little askance when I said I’d only been driving for a grand total of 3 days, but as there was a shortage of people with international drivers’ licenses, they were stuck with me.  😀

Prepping my truck for our first day of work.

Now, being a lowly truck driver, I just kind of did and drove where people told me.  And so on our first day (which, btw, was like my 5th time driving EVER) when the project leader told me he was adding 3 more people to our group (bringing the people sitting in the bed of the truck to a grand total of 6 people) I was definitely a little nervous, but hey, who was I to say anything?

But of course, that slight premonition could never have prepared me for the cop car with flashing lights yelling at me with a megaphone “JAPANESEJAPANESEJAPANESEJAPANESE!!!!” Of course, I didn’t understand anything, but the policeman’s meaning was pretty clear.

David (in the passenger’s seat next to me): I think you need to pull over.

Me: Yeah, I think you’re right.

Police (comes to front of the car): Japanesejapanesejapanese…

Me: Ummmm…………………….  -__-;;;;;;;;

What's he want? My license?? Wahhhh~~~~

Luckily at this point we were just about at the rendevouz point with the other Crash teams and so our project managers (Japanese people) came over and helped me out and made sure I wasn’t going to get into any trouble.  The policeman was stern but actually pretty nice about the whole thing too.  And I didn’t get a ticket.  😛

Yay! No ticket! 😀

A rather exhilarating first day.  😀

  1. October 6, 2011 at 11:36 am

    wish i could ‘like’ this post 🙂

  2. GNa
    January 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    what did he end up wanting?

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