So where have I been, and why am I blogging about it now? Good questions. We went to Scotland for two weeks at the end of July, and through the miracle of back-dating, I am just now entering some thoughts about the trip. Yes, thanks to dishonest timestamps, I will now pretend that I posted this in real time four weeks ago.
We took the red-eye from Newark to Glasgow on Thursday night. Fortunately, Continental flies 757's across the Atlantic, so you get one aisle and one movie choice. And really, what more do you need than today's hottest films like "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation?" Sleep was scarce. Glasgow airport is a nice, manageable size, however. You sail through customs and immigration pretty quickly, get your bags, and get your car, and you're off.
For some reason, 90% of the cars in the UK are manual transmission. When you're sleep-deprived from an overnight flight, you really want to cram your ass into a mini-sized car and fumble with the stick using your left hand. I don't handle the stick with my left hand, you know.
The struggle got worse when there was no evident way to put the car into reverse. It had six gears, and reverse was indicated with a little up-arrow to the side of the R on the knob. Makes sense. Let me just check in the driver's manual that's not in the car's glove compartment. Parallel parking and getting out of dead ends is a joy when you can't reverse. I ended up finding a spot on a hill with a 40 degree decline, and letting the car slowly roll into place.