Why are my memories being Britishized?

(Guest post by Steve.)

Learning to drive on the wrong side left-hand side of the road has been an interesting experience. Standard phrases like “Stay in the right lane!” when actually referring to the slow lane on the highway don’t make sense, although Sarah and I are both able to interpret each other appropriately.

The most fascinating adjustment has been my memories. Just the other day as we were shopping for a car, I began reminiscing on my first car purchase–the fantastic Dodge Neon. It was a great car that served me well during my college days. I could still remember leaving class for the day and approaching it from the right side, opening the driver’s door, and getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately my thoughts of the good old days were cut short by the startling cognitive dissonance when I realized that since I owned that car in the states, its driver’s door was certainly on the left side not the right side as my mental images had shown me.

I am mildly worried by this. Which memories have been or will be changed due to my new culture? What if I can no longer tell the difference between a true memory and a false one? What if I become the example of someone who has become Britishized in dictionaries?

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10 responses to “Why are my memories being Britishized?

  1. what????? how many years have ya been over there ???? ya must be adusting with warp speed

  2. according to the dictionary you’ve got another 5 years before you qualify for Britishised status

  3. The Schrockinator

    Yes, this occurred after I had been driving here for less than a week… It took almost no time for my brain to adjust.

  4. Evidence of your superior Schrock brain power, Schrockinator :)

  5. On the other hand, a friend of mine from TX was over here visiting her (British) in-laws and nearly received a parking ticket for parking on double yellow lines. The traffic warden refused to believe that she didn’t know that they meant – until he saw her get into the left hand side of her rental car to drive off, impaired by the lack of steering wheel.

  6. I, on the other hand, lived in Atlanta for about a year. Despite learning to drive in the UK, I found it much more intuitive to drive on the right-hand-side of the road and it took me almost no time to adjust. I found it much more of a wrench re-adjusting to UK driving when I moved back. Maybe it’s because I’m right-handed or something.

  7. Ha :) I find the same thing happening. I grew up in England, but now live in California. I find I have dreams involving my old car and places I lived, but then I realize that in the dream I’ve been driving on the right hand side of the road.

  8. Left/right reversal in cars is fascinating (live in Holland and just returned from a two week vacation to the south coast of England). Getting back to driving on the right side of the road – “right” as apposed to “left”, not “wrong” – was instant, but I did caught myself keeping left a bit at first when leaving our home street yesterday.

    The memory thing however is even more interesting. Never thought about it, but given how it seems human memory works (clumped and relational storages and all that) it’s not a big surprise to me really. Mmm…

  9. Pingback: What is different? - I « Schrockthehouse

  10. Pingback: What is different? - II « Schrockthehouse

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