Lost while driving on the left
Ok, I wasn't exactly lost but I still wasn't too comfortable driving on the left side of the road like they do in Ireland and the UK. So when I encountered this sign as a driver and needed to quickly determine which way to go, I could feel my temperature rising a little bit.
But that's the joy of traveling I guess, getting out of your comfort zone a little in order to see new things. Luckily this junction is in the tiny fishing village of Ballyvaughan in County Clare. Not a whole lot of traffic here luckily for me and the other drivers on the road.
If you're interested in renting a traditional Irish Cottage with the thatched roofs and whitewashed walls, this might be the place to do it. There's a cluster of these holiday homes right outside the village.
By the time my trip ended,my left side driving skills were greatly improved and the trauma of driving on the left was subsiding. On my last day I was even brave enough and good enough I guess to drive into downtown Dublin. And patting myself on the back all the way.
If you've never thought too much about which countries drive on the left, here's some background (info culled from the Wikipedia)
By worldwide population, 34% drive on the left and 66% on the right. Interestingly, most worldwide traffic initially drove on the left.
The number of countries that drive on the right are far greater than the number driving on the left. But because India is one of those left driving countries, it's huge population skews the numbers somewhat. While not an exhaustive list the following are some notable left driving countries - Ireland, UK, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand.
There are several theories out there as to why the traffic initially was on the left but the one accepted by most is the following:
"As more people are right-handed, horsemen would thus be able to hold the reins with their left hands and keep their right hand free—to offer in friendship to passing riders or to defend themselves with swords, if necessary. This also explains why men's jackets and shirts have the buttons on the right."
Interesting stuff for sure.
Critiques | Translate
nbj (2095) 2007-10-04 15:31
funny image. the signs and the door make a nice composition, but i think i would have cropped as much of the window out as possible.
tom_imbard (159) 2007-10-04 15:44
Well, lucky they have to push the door to enter the house!!!
Nice and original shot!
dareco (17134) 2007-10-04 15:50
This makes a really impressive picture, full of color. Your note is rather amusing, I'm sure I could never drive like that. TFS
batalay (35555) 2007-10-04 16:17
An excellent not accompanying this fascinating and entertaining photo. When we lived in England (Oxford) during the 70s, initially my biggest anxiety was in stopping and thinking of which way to look before crossing a street. Those double-deckers hugged the curbs within a whisker of the curb.
Warm regards, and congratulations on your new son.
ribeiroantonio (22637) 2007-10-04 18:02
And to add to the confusion you have distances in Km and in one sign the distance is in yards. By the way, how many meters in one yard?
For me, too many direction signs are not a problem. My problem is when I can not find the one that I am looking for. And in Portugal it happens a lot!!!
I like your photo and note for the story it tells. Well done.
edytungkal (4551) 2007-10-04 19:10
A simple idea but very well composed picture and give the colourful and good sharpness result. And you have posted an informative note too, Thanks Doug for sharing this picture.
Dpbours (222) 2007-10-04 22:05
Love the note! Hahaha, happy that I'm a left hander and Dutch. Though I can add a country to the list: Indonesia!! With 240 million people also a big one in the left-driving-countries.
The big question now remains... Why did 66% of the world change to drive right-sided?...
claudigan (2837) 2007-10-05 0:48
Nice and funny shot. I just hope for the people living behind the door are carefull when they open it. and don't leave the car in front of it to much often;-)Your note is very interressant even if it doesn't explain why women's jackets and shirts have the buttons on the left?
pboehringer (770) 2007-10-05 9:59
Well if you weren't lost I can imaginge quite well that after seeing all these signs you must have gotten lost. Are all these signs really there to help? It seems to be more confusing than really helping.
plimrn (21344) 2007-10-05 11:40
It seems sensible to me to put all of the signs in one place and not pollute everything. I ahd a terrible time taking pictures in Balboa Park because the whole area was littered with signs.
Larry first tried LHdriving in NZ; by the time we drove accross Australia, he was pretty good. Did you do the 'set the windshield wipers flying when trying to use the turn signal' thing? We figured locals thought, "Another tourist who doesn't know how to drive," when they saw wipers swishing on a sunny day. No, you probably didn't have to worry about sunny days :-)
gunbud (34066) 2007-10-06 0:06
As I recall the hardest part of driving in Ireland was the roads did not have route numbers just all these arrows which were much easier to decipher on a bicyle or on foot than driving on the narrow road. This is a striking example of the lovely sings in english and irish. The colors are very clear with grand sharpness.
delic (6735) 2007-10-06 7:50
That door itself would make a great photo subject, but with the jungle of signs, this is really an interesting and amusing one. Good that you had no direct sunlight. I enjoyed the note and the title, too. Cheers,
syd1946 (18663) 2007-10-06 9:28
This is wonderful,interesting and funny composition!This is what a photographer try to find in a city.Thanks very much for sharing this with us.Nice note too!
thor68 (5586) 2007-10-06 11:12
hehe, yeah, that would have put me completely off track too. *g*
i was very happy to listen to the nice voice of my gps-navi telling me where to go, so i could concentrate on driving -
and i got on the wrong side only once in 2900km. excellent shot of this slightly confusing sign-post.
well seen & captured, thor.
Dyerco (10185) 2007-10-06 15:25
Very nice composition with strong colours. Irish humour for sure.
bakes888 (18499) 2007-10-07 0:41
Hi Doug. You missed one left driving country, New Zealand, but I forgive you ;-). Great photo. Good colour and detail. Thanks for sharing.
baba_flies (8829) 2007-10-07 7:24
What a sign forest here and I guess it makes the decision making process not really easier :) The hardest part with driving on the left is entering a round-about (for me anyway) and I remember after returning from Australia I always had to concentrate hard when approaching them. As I always lead everyone to the wrong places (I am the one saying "go left" but actually meaning "right"), this jungle would certainly lead into pure chaos. What a fun picture on this sunny Sunday afternoon ... I guess I should go out an have some fresh air. Have a good day, Barbara.
marietom (34607) 2007-10-07 13:42
Bien vue, cette image !
Le parking est très bien placé, pour laisser le temps à la réflexion sur la direction à choisir !
ALIRIZA (16423) 2007-10-07 14:26
Good image, funny. Excellent composition with door and colourful signs. Well done my dear friend...
All the best...
brevbrev14 (140) 2007-10-08 3:05
Ah!very nice catch!
i like a lot all the signs here!
funny image well taken!
sacavem (18610) 2007-10-11 3:03
Very nicely captured and composed shot from a very good POV.
stego (24030) 2007-10-11 11:46
Quite amusing and also very nice graphically. Somehow, those clusters of road signs tend to be very picturesque, but the red door border and the variety of colours of the ones in this one makes it specially appealing.
I had only a short experience driving on the left, in Thailand, but surprisingly I adapted quite quickly. The hardest thing for me after a couple of hours was when I changed direction and kept insisting in taking the right side.
I have seen more than once that the left side driving is wiser than the right side, mainly because one has better visibility to the side that has priority (they use the right, like ourselves) and, except for the left handed, it makes more sense using always the right hand for the wheel and the left hand for the gears. I think it makes a lot of sense and probably it is because of it that I adapted so quickly. Interestingly, going a bit off topic, the adaptation to automatic gears wasn't so simple to me as I imagined.
tobourge (971) 2007-10-15 6:23
Wow!!! No excuse to say "I didn't see the sign!" ;-)
Funny one! Makes me think of a sign I've seen in France. 2 signs: one "All Directions" and a second one "Other Directions"
captainsgirl (3448) 2007-10-20 12:34
What a funny sign, and cute note, I'm not sure I"ld be comfortable driving on the "wrong " side of the road either!
xuaxo (6846) 2007-10-24 5:28
This is really interesting and funny (the note too).
I like to see those signs both in Irish and English. In the Basque Country sometimes they are only in Basque, which may be confusing when your map is in Spanish only and some place names are quite different in those languages (e.g. Vitoria/Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastian).
salvator (19102) 2007-10-25 2:20
Superbly composed, wonderfully shot. Such a nice photo from an object that is in our daily lives. I wonder how many people mus have passed in front of this sign and not have noticed this superb photo. The colors are bright and vivid, and the use of light very nice.
Best regards. Salvator.
ilghiz (708) 2007-10-29 23:48
I have never been to Ireland but this (or these) seems typical for Ireland. It may be the influence of what I konw about Wales (what does it have to do with Ireland? haha!): there is a village which has the longest name on the Earth...
I'd leave a bit more of margine on the left for the pointers not to bump into the border.
Have a look at Lost by Ally Theanlyn. She made another funny shot of pointers. If you can, you should add a link to her photo to your note: they might start a theme together.
By the way, the name of the theme might be Lost cuz you both gave a similar name to your pictures.
asival (5305) 2007-10-31 23:56
Funny pic. Nice seen and done, very good composition
tap2578 (15) 2007-11-01 11:44
Funny, I keep comming back to see if Hawkeye is going to come out of the door.
Leilani (1385) 2008-01-24 15:56
Funny note. I remember the irish signs! They were so much fun to navigate! As an american living in england, I completely understand the difficulty of driving on the "left or right" side of the road. I had to retake my drivers test in england to get an eu license. I went through 2 driving instructors as I found turning "right" difficult (I would always turn into oncoming traffic here without thinking.) One instructor had to be replaced because he got to the point of screaming and grabbing the wheel whenever I turned "right"...even if that time I was on the left side of the road! :) Whenever I went back to the states to drive I usually had one moment where I'm in the wrong side of the road and vice versus when I return to England. But after so many years now, I automatically switch without thinking about it much. The only confusion is sometimes when the roads are empty. Then I have to think ;)
I noted you are from Laguna Beach! I grew up in Laguna Niguel! :). Rgds, Leilani
- Copyright: Douglas Arrasin (darrasin) (2860)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-07-00
- Categories: Humorous, Transportation
- Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Canon 24-70 F2.8 L
- Exposure: f/8, 1/180 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Trafficators [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-10-04 15:27