Ilivetolearn's Blog

December 18, 2005

the garaging of the car

Filed under: on the road,Spain — ilivetolearn @ 2:23 pm

The big accomplishment of this past week was learning how to get the car into the garage so we don’t have to scrape off a quarter-inch of ice in the mornings. (Though we also tried the neighbors’ trick of taking the hose out and rinsing it off.) It really is a wide car…and though the garage is extremely long, its width allows either the driver’s side or the passengers’ side doors to open. Good thing the car, like most here, has a button that folds in both rear-view mirrors: a very useful feature. The kids do a lot of climbing over each other to get out.

It also was a steep learning curve to figure out the remote control gizmo…one button opens the gate at the street and the other opens the garage door. Backing through the gate without scraping the sides, while braking so as not to hurtle down the steep incline into the garage, makes our old trip out of the driveway in Pennington (under the porte cochere) look like child’s play. Driving in Spain in general is more challenging…narrow streets, ubiquitous construction, and arcane rules. Expats we have talked to have pretty much given up on getting Spanish licenses…after months of studying, one woman took the written test and was faced with a question about right-of-way on the drovers’ road. The what? Well, sheep still have rights on public thoroughfares…I understand there was a photo in the New York Times of a herd traversing part of Madrid earlier in the fall. It’s a tradition that doesn’t appear in the papers here…not news, I guess.

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