Monday, November 01, 2010

Driving in Pohnpei

It's relative easy to drive in Pohnpei, everyone drives really slow and the fastest speed limit is 25miles/hour but people mostly drive 20miles/hour, the school zone speed limit is 15miles/hour with caption if children around, so when there are no children around the school you can actually speed up a little bit. You can tell if the driver has been drinking sakau because one will drive really slow, yes it's like 5miles/hour slow.

But driving in Pohnpei can be really tricky because we drive on the right side of the road like in America, so came from Indonesia and Australia where we drive on the left side of the road it takes a while for me to get used to driving in Pohnpei. But most of the cars here are Japanese cars so it's right hand drive including our car which just arrived yesterday. For me is easier like this because I used to drive a right hand drive car so I just need to get used to with driving on the right side of the road. I just have to remember that when I'm driving my side is on the gutter side not the other way around. But for mr. husband is kinda tricky because he has to drive the office car everyday to go to work which has left hand drive and switch to right hand drive car on personal car, but I thinks he gets the hang of it.

Other thing about driving in Pohnpei is that all cars only have one number plate and mostly they put it at the back of the car, I don't know the real reason for this.

Oh yes, finally our car has arrived from Japan. It took about a month from payment until it arrives and I'm so excited because I don't like taking taxi in Pohnpei. The taxi service is not exclusive for us, meaning I can be in the taxi with 3 other strangers and I have to go to their destination first before the driver takes me home. Yeah, I don't like the idea of sharing taxi with 3 strangers especially men. Everyone said it's safe but I just don't like it. Other option to get around is by walking, but walking on the steamy and humid 30 degrees celcius is not a pleasant experience. Well you can say that I'm a princess or a spoiled bratt but I choose not to walk because there are lots of dogs on the street and I'm scared of dogs. One has right to choose whatever one wants, no?

Driving in Pohnpei means one thing for me: FREEDOM!

I feel more alive when the car arrives, that means I don't have to wait for mr. husband if I want to get something from the shop or ask him to drive me to my book club meeting every Wednesday night, I can just drive whenever I want, I drive around to take photos, and I can pick up mr. husband at work to have lunch date like today.

I drive more than mr. husband when we were in Jakarta and Canberra because I like driving and I think I'm a better driver than him, well I don't think he's agree with me on that :p

I have been driving since I was 16 years old, however the legal driving age in Indonesia is 17 years old. Don't ask me how can I get away with that. There are no road rules in Indonesia beside traffic lights green yellow and red, well the rule is fight for you way, while in Australia is a different story. I was so nervous on the day of my driving test because some of my Indonesian friends have failed, even mr. husband has failed at first attempt so I was soo thrilled when I passed the test at first attempt, oh yeah!

One thing for sure is I will be really nervous driving 110k/hour in a highway on the left side of the road back in Australia after driving 20k/hour on the right side of the road in Pohnpei.


BabyBeluga said...

Its the same over here too, we are not require to have 2 plates on a car, one is enough. When I took care of my US driving license, that was years ago when I was just a student over here. None of my friends were thrilled about taking me to the Dept of Transportation office since the office was always crowded, I thought about driving there myself :-), luckily a day after NY we passed by and we saw the office was open so, I had my test and voila, got my license...

Unknown said...

@ Baby Beluga: Wow good on you passed your driving test in first attempt, my friend in NY has to go thru couple of times before she finally passed :)

unjaded said...


How have you been? Enjoying exotic Pohnpei to the max? Goodness, are you saying that you are driving a right hand drive vehicle on the right hand side on the road? man, that IS hard! I used to feel sorry for those Britons with their right hand drive cars in Continental Europe, and you nail it perfectly. Noice :)!