Saturday, November 22, 2008


I miss driving. I have always loved to drive. For me it was always time to relax, time to unwind after work. Time for me. You didn't have to feel guilty for not doing anything. You know like when you sit around watching TV. In the car you are moving towards your destination. You pop in some music and turn it up real loud. You are a free.

Of course these days my time in the car is usually shared with four children. The calls of she touched me, he's looking at me sound in my ears. Still it is a privilege to be able to hop in the car and have the freedom to go where you want.

No matter how glamorous it sounds to have a driver, for me it is a freedom removed. While living in the smaller towns of Brazil and Venezuela I occasionally drove. I did not have my own car but would use Larry's when he wasn't using it or was out of town. Most people in Caracas had drivers since the traffic was so horrendous and there were security concerns as well. I usually had to call for a car service frequented by the company.

Upon moving to Rio I had more opportunity to drive. At first I was quite intimidated by the traffic. Mostly though I was worried about learning my way around. I am notoriously bad at directions and could see myself ending up in the middle of a slum. Larry forced me to drive and soon it became a wonderful pleasure. winding through the Rio traffic, people honking at you, motorcycles whipping around you, looking for that opening to squeeze through that will get you farther down the road. I felt so alive, so much a part of the city.

Now in China there is no option. My driver is quite nice, although we can barely understand each other. it was also reported to me that he thinks the same of me. Evidently a great coup. He is reported as saying i never make him just sit and wait for me all day just in case i decide to go out. I obviously am not a proper expat woman yet. Larry and I share the use but as right now Larry is only here on the weekends we have had no conflicts.

This has been one of the difficult adjustments for me. Not being able to jump in the car whenever I want and just go. Having to plan out my driving needs and schedule them. Maybe it will make me a more organized person. Maybe i will become a better passenger.