27/11/2019

RONDA - a true story in one hundred words.

In Great Britain we drive on the left, so we turn left at a roundabout, not right. This photograph reminded me so strongly of my years spent living abroad that I had to write about it, so here is my own piece of potted history - every word of it is true!


RONDA
We were living in Tenerife when the Cabildo introduced rondas. Many locals had never seen a roundabout, let alone driven round one.
 The first instructions in newspapers were wrong and had to be amended. Leaflets appeared in letterboxes, posters in supermarkets, there were endless discussions in bars.
Then, suddenly they were here.
Wise people stayed off the roads for a while, but others had jobs to get to, or shopping to do, and had no choice. There were countless accidents, many gesticulating arguments, a few deaths.
Years later the local drivers still hadn’t learned that a roundabout wasn’t a parking zone.
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Thanks as ever to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to C E Ayr for the photo which brought back so many memories. To read other FF stories, click on the frog on https://rochellewisoff.com/

38 comments:

  1. It's simple. You just go round them faster and faster until you achieve escape velocity

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    1. Believe me, Neil, some drivers do, even those behind the wheel of a bus.

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  2. Dear Liz,

    Oh my. I can only imagine what a traffic knot that must've been. Personally I'm not all that fond of roundabouts and they're cropping everywhere around here. Hmrmph. Good story'

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. They're the best way to give traffic from any direction a fair turn at moving. I much prefer them to traffic lights, or to being stuck in a side road waiting for a gap in main road traffic.

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  3. I've only ever lived in or visited mainland Spain, and roundabouts still confound some people! I have to confess to parking on a roundabout once when we went to a concert and everyone had to embark on what we call 'inventive parking'. Nice one, Lizy.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. Inventive parking - how would that go down as an excuse to a traffic warden, I wonder?

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  4. Laughing.
    Here in southern France parking, and sometimes driving, is more of a concept than a reality.
    So abandoning your car on a rond-point is acceptable, except in tourist season, when everyone gets ticketed.

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    1. Abandoning your car in the MIDDLE? But yes, the Europeans do seem to treat driving as a sport.

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  5. Gosh, you wouldn't think they'd be that difficult to get to grips with!

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    1. When even the 'experts' who put diagrams in the newspapers get it wrong, what chance have drivers got?

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  6. The world is small, and yet so large with its differences.

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  7. I can imagine the chaos this would cause, no one here knows how to drive them properly even after decades of having them!

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    1. There are times when I wonder if drivers even remember what they learned before their tests!

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  8. Oh my goodness... roundabouts are bad enough without having people parking in them!!

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    1. The first time I saw that I was flabbergasted.

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  9. Roundabouts are great. They make so much sense. Here in crazy drivers world, people need lights to tell them to stop, go, or run through the lights.

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  10. Roundabouts can make life simpler, or more complicated ... al depends on whether what comes around, also goes around ... ;)

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  11. Some are a blessing, others a curse. I see you live in West Sussex so you are probably familiar with the nightmare ones on the A27 at Worthing and along the Chichester bypass!

    Here's my tale!

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    1. Oh yes, I know them, Keith, but nothing can faze me after regularly navigating the one in Los Cristianos, Tenerife!

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  12. That's a fun take on the prompt!

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  13. I laughed at your story yet am amazed some died over the change. You would hope people would go very slowly through it at first to get used to it.

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    1. Slow driving isn't in the Spanish DNA!

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  14. once you get used to it, navigating on one can be second nature. :)

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    1. Yes, in an ideal world, and as long as other drivers observe the rules!

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  15. Round -a- bouts would be great if everyone could be trusted to follow the rules. They are prone to accidents.

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  16. Thank you for sharing this with us. I remember the consternation when the first traffic circle, as we call them, appeared in our little town. As you say, lots of confusion. But now, I think most people love it because it eliminated endless waiting at what had been a four-way stop.

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  17. Roundabouts where you have right of way coming from the right are actually a death trap....

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    1. That depends on which country we're talking about!

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  18. My gracious...scary. (lol)
    They are quite common here and I live in a rural area so it is not too bad. However, they are even more in abundant in Pennsylvania where my sister lives and she is a near a tourist area....that can be quite tricky, and as in yours...scary!

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  19. Round here there's one particular mini roundabout where it's quite common for everyone to be stopped, then for everyone to go at once, then all slam on their brakes together. No idea why it's just that one and the others (mostly) work fine.

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