I do drive on a regular basis on town, small city, and highways routes. Generally when we travel, B does most of the driving, but for this trip to Honolulu, because I was staying for the duration of the trip and B had to leave after two weeks to go back to work, we rented the car in my name. (We did wind up adding B as a second driver when I got sick, so I got a few days reprieve from driving.)
Driving here has been an adventure! Back home, it helps to hop on the highway. Here the highway, the H1, tends to be very slow and congested a lot of the time, so we only use it if we are going somewhere at an obscure time of day – or if we are going to/from the airport. It makes me chuckle every time I see an interstate sign – because the H1 can’t go to another state! It can’t even go to another island.
The bigger challenge is driving the Honolulu streets. It dawned on me that Honolulu is the largest city in which I have ever driven. I am not used to being on a two lane road that suddenly morphs into a one-way street with five lanes. Well, I’m also not used to needing five lanes in one direction! Many of the main streets are named for members of the Hawai’i royalty, so there are lots of streets that begin with K and have four or five syllables. You need more than a quick glance to read the street signs, which is hard to do while keeping an eye on five lanes of traffic and the county buses.
Fortunately, E is good at warning me which lane to get into in plenty of time and, by now, I’ve learned some of the common routes I am driving like between E’s apartment and her work.
I guess things were getting a bit too routine, because on Sunday the maintenance light and the low tire pressure light on the Honda Fit I’d rented both went on. The maintenance looked like just an oil change, but the low tire pressure was a concern. I was afraid I might have a bead leak. This morning, after bringing E to work, I went to the car rental agency in Waikiki, as I really did not want to trek to the one near the airport. They offered to swap for another car, so now I have a spiffy Toyota Corolla.
I drive a 2003 Corolla at home, but this new one is much more deluxe. And confusing. It took me a minute just to figure out how to get it out of park. There is a touchscreen! And a back-up camera! I do appreciate the back-up camera, but it is a bit disorienting to use when you are not accustomed to it. I’ll probably get used to it just in time to turn the car in next week.
Until then, I’ll keep driving extra-carefully here in Honolulu.
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