When I got back into St. Louis this week I took out one of the cars for a little shopping expedition. Driving a car is, I guess, like riding a bicycle - you don't really ever forget how to do it. However, I look at my return to Spain with a certain trepidation as one of the items at the top of my to-do list for my return to Spain is to sign-up for classes at an autoescuela - I need to get my Spanish driver's license. I've been driving for 12 years and (luckily) have spent most of that time driving a manual transmission; getting behind the wheel of the car is second nature. But I have a feeling things will be slightly different in Madrid.
When I was living in South Florida a report was published about the drivers in various American cities. South Florida placed first on the list in terms of speeding and aggressive driving. St. Louis placed first on the opposite list in recognition of its conscientious and polite drivers. Even so, even after almost 4 years of South Florida driving, the thought of driving in Madrid scares me a little. It seems like a silly fear - after all most of the time you can't go much over 35 miles (km) per hour and little fender benders, scratches, and bumps seem a part of daily life. But cruising down the wide lanes basking in the stark absence of mopeds, I'm reminded of how frenetic Madrid driving can be.
People already know that I'm not Spanish by my accent (although I'm working on that); I wonder if the same will be true with my driving. Will the blink of my turn signal tell the world that a guiri is at the wheel?
P.S. The title of the post is in honor of the Foghat song playing on the radio as I drove back home this afternoon - quite appropriate.