Which Side of the Road Do I Drive On?

The following post is a re-post from our original blog “We Out Here” that tells stories from our time in New Zealand. 

One of the first dark beers that I had to try or as the kiwi’s say it, “give it a go” was the Yeastie Boys, a stout from Wellington, New Zealand that is quite delicious and tastes like a Lefthand Nitro Milk Stout.

I did it, I finally drove for the first time last night. Let me back up. I got a job at LoneStar which is basically this restaurant at the edge of town. Longest bike ride ever. It’s all uphill coming home and after a long day that’s the last thing I want to do, but nonetheless, I’ll do whatever I have to do to get some money rolling back into my pocket again.

Lonestar Is basically your American steakhouse. Lonestar Steakhouse. Yeah, I’m pretty sure they just stole the name from the original Texas restaurant chain. Country music plays over the speaker system and there is the occasional classic Johnny Cash. The place is covered in pictures of Butch Cassidy, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and a few other legends. I think my Johnny Cash picture count is around 30 right now.

So far I have had their steak fillet and Salmon dishes. I must say the steak was pretty comparable to something you’d get back in the states. The Salmon was alright, but they laid it on top of some green baby poop, so that pretty much ruined it for me.

My first night there I’m still unsure what I was hired for but quickly I am told to run the bar. Okay cool. I can do that, or at least I can pretend. Bartending out here is pretty simple other than the coffee part of it. Which as I mentioned in the last blog, they are pretty crazy with their specific ways to prepare coffee and the different sizes of each cup for each. Okay so bartending, Pour some beers and wipe down glasses. Cool I got this.

Well.. yesterday I get told that I get to drive the coach which is the 11 person van they have to be able to pick people up from their houses. They pick people up from their house or wherever and bring them to Lonestar and then at the end of the night the van driver takes them all back home again all for free.

Not bad of a deal, since A: the restaurant is kinda far away from the main strip and B: You do not want to get caught drinking and driving here and I guess at that time there is really just one taxi driver for the whole town.

One of the managers then asks me if I have my license to drive and I was like I have my state’s license. She says okay cool you are our driver tonight. I was like..um… okay.. I haven’t ever driven a car yet in New Zealand, let alone a van with 11 passengers in New Zealand ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD…She said well… you’ll be alright. You’ll figure it out.

 

 

 

 

So away I went. There really aren’t a lot of stop signs here, mostly just yield signs. Which I was used to in Germany. There is also a lot of Roundabouts or traffic circles here and those can be a bit more confusing since you are entering on the left and exit on the left. I almost made the mistake of exiting on the right. Thankfully I didn’t.

My first couple of customers noticed that I had accidentally put the windshield wipers on instead of the turn signals ( The turn signal is on the right of the steering wheel and the wipers are on the left) At first they were concerned, but quickly were like..oh you must be an American. I told them yup and today was my first time driving on the other side of the road. One woman said “ohhhh help help” but in a joking tone. She just kept telling me to always remember to stay to the left and I’ll be alright. Upon taking that same woman back home she asked me “ Which side of the road do you drive on? I jokingly said “ummm the middle right?” by this time she was a bit drunk and was like yeah that sounds right.

All night everyone was quite friendly and after I told them I had just moved here, they were quite accepting and gave me directions around town to get them back home safely. After about 3 hours of that, I actually got a hang of driving and I think as long as I don’t space out and just keep focused I’ll be alright with this whole driving thing. I remember in Germany I was a bit scared to drive because there they have 100 more signs than we do in the states and everyone there drives super crazy fast., but that too I got the hang of and soon I was driving 90+ everywhere I went.

I think this job will be alright for the time being, until I either can find something different or until Teryn and I decide to take off to another part of the south island. *Note I didn’t stay with this job long as I was hired to be an electrician with a local company*

 

KEEP READING ⇒ How to tour Ha Long Bay on a budget!

We are looking at Nelson, New Zealand or Bay of Islands. But right now our main goal is securing the campervan, so we can take off and explore more. ( Which we did settle in Nelson with Dug our awesome campervan! More of that to come soon)

Oh, cool thing about Lonestar is that some of the bartenders believe there is a ghost there. Every now and then there is an order for Brandy on the register screen. Never anything else, just brandy. And people here don’t really drink brandy. But every now and then it’s popped up on the screen and already ordered. So weird, but at least the ghost is trying to pay for the drink.

Have you been to New Zealand? Where did you go or what did you see? Do you have plans to visit? Let us know in the comments below!

Global Giraffe is a travel blog that is focused on keeping it real. This isn't a fluffy rainbow magical travel blog, here you'll find real life situations, tips and advice for the every day person that wants to know more about places they've never been to. Global Giraffe is led by Dan and Teryn. After leaving Denver, Colorado, they decided to try to take on the world, one odd job at a time. They are currently residing in Phuket, Thailand. For more updates follow Global Giraffe on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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