I did not know that ...

I was having a quiet laugh when I was reading this traffic change in New Zealand, which has been the lone country in the world - until this Sunday - "...to yield to traffic making a wider arc across the intersection. New Zealanders drive on the left, but in the U.S. it would be like making right-turning traffic yield to left-turning traffic coming from the opposite direction...." (Re: diagrams)

On Sunday, NZ will finally comply with rest of the world. Way to go Kiwis!

What's funnier, looking back, is that I did not know that. A few years ago, when our family went to NZ, I had my first experience of driving on the left side. I must admit that I scared my nieces and others in the car at the very first intersection where my right-side driving orientation was still in effect. The whole experience was a haunting one. It's like everything about you (esp from the US) has been flipped and switched - from getting in through the right front door, to sitting on the right side, to shifting gears with the left hand, not to mention reorienting your whole sense of visual perception.
The experience was also a memorable one in that it defies and negates the adage "old habits die hard." In other words, the "old" driving habits have to die really fast, or you - and others - will, literally. That's how urgent and instantaneous the whole change and switch had to be.

In hindsight, I believe that I and my passengers were just lucky. Either I must have not made a lot of illegal turns, or the NZers were able to tell that I was from the US and politely yielded, or I was not aware of all the sudden screeching stops around me at the intersections. LOL!

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