Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Work Trip to the Bahamas

I was at the city of Freeport on the Grand Bahama Island during a work trip in the late 70's. I was working for a company that made the parts for the inside of chemical towers. I was directing an installation of parts in the tower at an oil refinery. The chemical towers are 200 feet high and you had to climb ladders to get to the top. There were times you were climbing with no safety cage behind you. Climbing is certainly something I wouldn't want to do today but it was no big deal 30 years ago. The view from the top of the tower was stupendous. The chemical plant was on the shore on the west side of Grand Bahamas Island. The water was a beautiful blue near shore and there were freighters docked near the shore. That is a sight I would never forget.

The thing that makes this story funny is the fact that they drive on the left side of the street in the Bahamas. This is the first time I ever drove on the left (wrong) side of the street. I had rented a Ford with the steering wheel on the left which of course was standard to me. I tried to be careful and make sure I was driving correctly. They had a traffic circle in the center of Freeport with divided roads going into the circle. Going around the circle in the wrong direction was a true joy. You had to be so careful that you went out of the circle on the correct aide of the road.

I had gone into a Burger King for a lunch and when I came out was completely disoriented as far as driving goes. I pulled out of the Burger King and immediately went to the right side of the street. I had to make a left turn on to a divided road and there was a bus on the right side of the road going the wrong way. I wondered what the bus driver was doing. I next came another divided road with traffic on it. Bingo, I now knew what was going on. I was on the wrong side of the street going the wrong way. That bus driver did know what he was doing. I made a left turn onto the left side of the highway and was going correctly again. Now I had to go into the circle and come out on the right road. Thankfully I only made that driving mistake one time.

1 comment:

Shark Girl said...

I'll bet there's a lot of cursing of American drivers in countries like that.

I'm not afraid of heights as a rule, but I don't think I could go that far up on a ladder. Not sure.

I went up above the Applacian Mountains in an ultralight with only a skinny strap holding me in. That didn't bother me, but I had wings to hold me up. Coming down was fun because you spiral down. That's far better than falling