Cat’s Eyes

Driving in the dark the other night, I suddenly realised I was having to concentrate really hard in order to make out the road markings and it dawned on me: no cat’s eyes!  Now maybe this is just a PA thing rather than an America wide thing but I was a wee bit taken aback by the lack of cat’s eyes in the road surface just because I am so used to having them there to provide guidance as to the road markings when there is no other light source but the car’s own headlight beams.  Just in case you don’t know, reader, cat’s eyes are pods of reflective glass set into the road surface so that they shine when hit by the car’s headlights and they are not only laid out in line with the road markings but the colour of the cat’s eyes indicates the type of marking – lane, slip road, hard shoulder.  I had not realised I was habituated to using them to navigate roads at night until I no longer had them.  

In other driving news, I still have not even contemplated driving on the wrong side of the road.  However, I have discovered that my reverse parking sucks because my spatial awareness for reverse parking has always been from the other side of the car.  It is just as well American parking spaces are wide because I end up squint each and every time.  It doesn’t bode well for my ability to parallel park given that I was pretty sucky at that even in the UK.  And that in turn does not bode well for my ability to pass a driving test here.  I may have to cruise around industrial estates in the evening in order to practice just as I did when I was 17.  It’s weird being catapulted backwards in experience levels in such ways.

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