Tag Archives: Driving in Trinidad

Learning to drive in Trinidad

I’ve never driven in Trinidad, even though I have had every opportunity to and have been here more times than I can count.

You see, Trinidad was a British colony up until 1962, so the country still retains many British customs – one of which is driving on the left hand side of the road in right-hand drive cars. This is the main reason why I’ve never really bothered to drive in Trinidad. I mean why would I? The driving customs here are completely opposite to that in the States. It was always too much to think about during my summer vacations to the island, when the only thing on my mind was having a good time.

Now that I’m living here though, things are different..obviously. Unfortunately, I don’t have the option of using public transport, because it isn’t safe – especially for women..leaving me no choice but to learn to drive all over again. Damn.

So..for the past couple of weeks I’ve been studying Trinidadian driving rules and regulations in preparation for my drivers license test. Thankfully, my US license exempted me from the driving portion of the test (cause I would’ve for sure failed!), so I only had the written portion to master (score!!)

Driving in Trinidad

My examination study guide..

While I was going through the examination study guide, I came across a few things that really stuck out.

Take Exhibit A:

Driving in Trinidad

Suddenly, I have an urge to buy a horse.

The first time I saw this question, I immediately thought of the man my man could smell like:

Smell like a man, man

He's on a horse.

and Exhibit B:

Driving in Trinidad

Hand signals? Isn't that what indicators are for?

Can’t say I’ve ever had any use for hand signals in the 8 years that I’ve had my license. But who am I to say that hand signals are totally obsolete? This is Trinidad after all..things are different here!

So..I practiced and memorized.. memorized and practiced.. until I got the hand signals (and the fact that any person in charge of an animal can legally stop traffic) down pat.

Driving in Trinidad

Practicing my hand signals at my Dad's shop. This can mean to things, either it's unsafe to pass, or I'm making a right turn. Go figure.

Driving in Trinidad

I'm supposed to be waving my arm up and down on this one, which means that I'm preparing to stop.

And I am proud to say that my hard work paid off! I am now officially licensed to drive in Trinidad and Tobago! Hurray for the small victories.

Now about that horse..

(Trinidadians say that if you can drive in Trinidad,  you can drive anywhere in the world. They obviously haven’t driven in Beirut!)

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