Plus 2 ferry rides, yup that’s what I covered in 2 weeks.
It started at the Hertz parking lot in Heathrow when the folks who assign cars thought it would be funny to “upgrade” me to a Volvo station wagon…….Oh how fun, a big car with a steering wheel on the right (wrong) side of it and if that’s not enough you also get to drive on the left hand side of the road.
I did not get the car out of the parking lot.
Seriously, I drove it around the lot, parked it right (wrong) back where I had picked it up,walked (on left) back to the office and asked in my best English……”WTF, you guys have got to be kidding right (wrong)?”
After they exchanged knowing glances, they offered me a smaller car that I have never heard of and is only made for rental companies (just like bad movies, they go straight to DVD never to be seen again) AND to make the driving experience even more enjoyable it was a “Hybrid”.
A Hybrid takes “Unleaded” (more on this later) also this one had push button ignition, 2 gears and makes absolutely no exhaust noise. I sat in the car for a while not knowing if it was on/off/park/drive/reverse…no clue and fortunately the Hertz folks took pity and gave me a quick 411 on this fine piece of driving machine.
They also mentioned that it was key less and that the car would lock itself automatically if left alone; even if someone was in the car (more on this later), than as to add insult to injury they asked me if I needed “Never Lost” (a GPS for the car), but being a good Latin male who never takes directions, I declined and just asked for a map (plus we had a little gadget called an I PAD with google maps…..buena mierda).
After looking at the map, I quickly made some driving calculations and realized that I needed to get on the M1 towards York (or as the Brit’s call it “the North”), so after leaving the hertz lot and maneuvering my first of MANY round abouts I promptly made the wrong turn and got on the M25, then the M4 them the M3, M11, M31, then a A something then a M25……..and after a bit I stumbled upon the M1 (the north).
By this time Ana wanted to kill me (not really, she was too busy with her I Pad, buena mierda) and since we had been on the road forever I needed “Gas”….
Do you know that in the UK they do not have “Gas”, no they have diesel and something called “unleaded”.
Should have heard that conversation the first time I had to fill up.
Pull in, look at the pump and you get two choices.
Diesel at 17 pounds or Unleaded at 20 pounds (or there abouts)
Me; “Hi, got any Gas?”
BP Dude; “No, have not had lunch yet.”
Me; “No, gas like in I need gas in the car.”
BP Dude; “Oh, is your car that little one with a leaf on it”
BP Dude; “try the unleaded, that’s what we call gas over here”
Me; “Cheers” (I learned this early on)..
Next up; speed signs, round abouts and lack of directions…….I Pad, buena mierda!