ROTORUA, New Zealand – An American tourist vacationing in New Zealand is sure that driving here is something he can’t possibly survive, and his whole family will definitely die a fiery death before the trip is over.
New Zealand recently opened to tourists for the first time in over two years. Americans who had to cancel their New Zealand travel plans during the pandemic are flocking to the island nation down under while Kiwis are preparing for the influx of bad drivers.
Michael Cheney, a 37-year-old tourist from Columbus, Ohio, was so excited to finally visit New Zealand with his wife and two children. His excitement waned, however, after seeing the steering wheel of his rented SUV on the other freaking side of the car.
He couldn’t believe that some idiot would just let him drive away on the other side of the road with no training or experience. “Not only did they know that I’ve never driven on the left side of the road, they seemed happy about just letting me do it. They even saw my Ohio driver’s license. So yeah, they definitely knew this wouldn’t go well. Are they for real?” said Cheney.
Cheney and his wife, Sandra, warned their children Austin, 10, and Sarah, 6, that driving in New Zealand would be different than driving in Ohio. The Cheneys told their kids that if they squabbled or even talked while their dad was driving, everyone in the family would definitely die and it would be entirely their fault.
Upon entering traffic, where literally every car was aiming straight for them, the Cheneys managed by the grace of God to make it to their hotel without causing a major traffic catastrophe. The family was even able to negotiate several roundabouts by the skin of their teeth, because this country is apparently too fancy for plain old intersections.
“Seriously, most people are right-handed so this doesn’t make any sense with the gear shift. Thank God we have an automatic, is all I can say,” he told his wife at least a dozen times when he wasn’t suppressing his screams of terror while driving on an undivided road to Hobbiton.
“I never thought I’d be so grateful to survive making right turns,” added Sandra. ”But somehow, we’re managing to live through this nightmare without killing everyone on the road.”
The Cheney family looks forward to several more excursions while on their two-week stay in New Zealand. They plan to celebrate not dying after every car trip until they return their rental car and can safely relax on the flight home.