Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Car hire, picked up at GLA, manual transmission !!!

It's been a while since I posted to OorAlbaBlog, and for that I am sorry. However, my situation has changed and hopefully, prayerfully, that will encourage me to be more disciplined in my blogging.

As readers know, we in the USA drive on the wrong side of the road. The steering wheel is also on the wrong side. Still, we have adapted. When we (J and I) were last in Scotland, which was too long ago (2010)and we miss her and our friends terribly, we hired a car from GLA (Glasgow Internation Airport) that I was to pickup. From there I would drive the auto back to the home of Pastor Marshall Cross (of New Hope Church), in Wishaw, and his wife Michelle. Pastor Cross was kind enough to convey me to the airport and wait while I conducted business at the care hire kiosk.

When it was my turn in the queue, I asked if the auto was an automatic transmission. I was told, politely, "No sir, it's a manual, just as specified in the contract. You did not request an automatic transmission." My response was "Well won't that be interesting." "Have you never driven a manual transmission, sir?" I was asked. "Yes", I replied, "but it's been a few years and it was never on the left side of the road, while sitting on the right side of the vehicle, and shifting with my left hand."

There were no other vehicles available so I completed the paperwork, went outside and explained the situation to Pastor Cross. I pleaded with him to avoid hills if at all possible during the drive back to his home. Not being familiar with the area I am unsure to this day if the route was a short cut of any sort, or the long way around, but we made it back with no incidents.

The next day my wife and I set out to drive to Tarbert, via Helensburgh. There we stayed overnight in caravan (arranged by Iris and Graham Terry, proprietors of Bluebell Cottage) prior to taking the CalMac ferry to Islay the next morning.

Jacqueline has told me I did a fine job of driving. What I remember is how mentally demanding it was to pay attention to the driving rather than the beautiful scenery. It's a wonder we did not end up in Loch Long as we drove along the A814 which seemed not much wider than our wee car. Here's a link to a short Youtube Video of Arrochar, which we passed through just before turning onto the A83.

Until next post, SLÀINTE.


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