Renting A Car

My Right Sided Darling

We have already referred to the entertainments you provided on our roads (Driving). What we haven’t mentioned was how we actually hired that car in the first place.

In readiness for your big arrival I had investigated car rental companies. You and I had discussed hiring a car and you had confidently asserted that you would have no trouble driving on the wrong side of the road. I think you scoffed and basically told me you were looking forward breaking every traffic law as you understood them from your North American perspective.

Well I tracked down a suitable rental agency on the outskirts of the city. Bayswater Car Rentals was the company’s name. I had booked in advance and we sallied forth first by train and then by taxi to Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, New South Wales. Now I hope my Darling that you see the similarities here – Bayswater Road and Bayswater Car Rentals. Now I had hired a car from these people before and they were located where their name suggests. So there we were in the back of a cab ready to pick up our vehicle. We drove three full lengths of Bayswater Road looking for the premises but to no avail; they were no longer located there. I was getting more than a little agitated. You just held my hand and smiled and, my anger abated.

We jumped out of the cab near a public phone box. Remember the days prior to having a search engine on your smart phone? If you needed to find a location, you would find the nearest public telephone booth, hope it still contained a directory and trust that the directory still had the necessary page so you could find what you were looking for. We did all this and attended the premises to pick up our rental car. The rental was refused.

I, as you no doubt remember, didn’t have a license at that time. It was however my credit card that we would be securing the vehicle with. Even though I had explained this over the phone at the time of booking (and they authorized it then),  we were told in person that it was not acceptable, and that they would not be able to rent us a car. I went ballistic. I am not normally one quick to anger, but when I do lose my cool it is probably best to be in another postcode.

As you may know Darling when angered two things happen. Firstly there will be the calm before the storm, then the volcano will erupt. I listened patiently to the clerk’s futile attempts to deal with the issue. I then asked to speak to a more senior person within the organisation to vent my spleen, sadly to no avail. What tipped me over the edge however was when the staff member I spoke to interrupted, admitted they had spoken to me on the phone, agreed that I had explained our situation, and that they had stated we could hire a car. I was then blown off in the most flippant of manners as if the fact that we had travelled 40 minutes by train and by cab to pick up the car was some small trifle (along with the fact that we had confirmed hotel bookings that required a car for us to attend).

It was at this point that my temper went thermo nuclear. Friends will tell you that they can gauge my anger by the verbosity and complexity of my language. The angrier I get the higher the level of comprehension skills required by the listener.  I was so irate and indignant it would have required the services of several ivy league English departments to translate my displeasure. Suffice it to say we left sans car. Throughout it all you held my hand and just smiled.

When it was over my heart was racing, and I was ready to go round two with whomever tried to get in my way. You leaned up and kissed me on the cheek, still smiling the entire time. You washed all my anger away with your kiss. It was then, not that I really harboured any doubt, that I realised you must be the one. No one, and I mean no one, could make my hostility subside in such a way.

Well we hired a car from another agency about ten minutes from my door. We reorganised the hotel bookings and went on to have the most magical two weeks of my life.

I loved you then as I love you now, absolutely.

You Will Always Be My Darling

From Sir With Love


My Dear Understandably Frustrated Sir,

I had forgotten about this incident until you asked me about it, then it all came back with clarity. I found the second-rate car rental place left much to be desired. I distinctly remembered how unprofessional they were, and their customer service was non-existent.

I realized that you were a man of organization. You were very thorough. To have arranged the car rental well ahead of time, explained the circumstances, given authorization prior to going to the business, then to have been denied in person for really no reason was ludicrous. You were reasonably upset. I didn’t blame you. There was no supervisor readily available to talk to. You were dealing with inept and amateurish idiots. Being in the corporate business yourself, you couldn’t fathom a company being run the way they ran theirs. Your expectations were high, because that is what you were used to. You radiated authority, and they were intimidated. They were clearly out of their league when it came to you.

I didn’t give a rip about the employees, but I cared about you. I couldn’t fix the problem. I just didn’t want you to be upset for the rest of the day.

I do recall kissing your cheek, and you looking down at me smiling in response. I saw you visibly relax. You squeezed my hand. It was then we both knew that, no matter the outcome, things would be alright as long as we were together.

You found another car rental place, and we were able to lease that adorable white, Toyota Seca which became the bane of my existence (haha). As for breaking all the driving laws in Australia – I just regret not breaking one, my love; the one where we tested how far back those seats could recline.


Impishly yours,


©2013 Darling and Sir


Toyota Seca



My Dearest Darling

When you came to these fair shores there was one thing I couldn’t do for you. Strange as it may seem but I had never learnt to drive a car. Technically that is not 100% accurate, but for the purposes of the story I no longer had a license (and no I had not lost it through any poor behaviour on my part, including drink driving).  My lack of a license brought with it a number of issues: I didn’t own a car, you were used to driving on the opposite side of the road, and we struggled to find a car hire company that would accept my credit card with your license.

I however was insistent that you see the sites so we found a little company, in Westmead, I think, that would let us hire a vehicle. Well there were a number of things that I remember.

Firstly there was your clear impatience and trouble with stop signs. While driving from Jenolan Caves to the Hunter Valley, we were on some back street in Sydney, trying to avoid the traffic, and approached a stop sign. You asked me if it was ok to go if there was no traffic. I replied “no” and explained that you still had to stop. Clearly deciding I was an unlicensed ignoramus you ignored my advice and made the left turn anyway, much to my amused amazement.

Not long after you expressed your incomprehension at what we call a “silent cop.”  Now this is a bright yellow plinth that had about a 3 inch or 90 mm profile that is used as a guide by motorists so as to not cut corners. Having never encountered one before, you were clearly baffled and quick to ridicule. They are quite an old fashioned traffic management device in this day and age. However on hearing you recall this story I laughed out loud when I encountered one in the back streets of Newcastle today.

Silent Cop

The most sphincter tightening moment for me was however when we were leaving Katoomba. Then, on the Great Western Highway, you decided that the right hand side would be far more appealing than the more traditional left hand side. I decided that I may need a change of underwear.

In fact you did a stellar job of driving me around my fair city and its surroundings. I remember it with great warmth. But my fondest memory of driving with you concerns none of those things. It was placing my right hand on your leg as you drove. I could feel the electricity. I feel it to this day. I would give much money and many personal body parts to be able to look up into your eyes, smile and place my hand gently, but firmly on your left leg again, and then just leave it there for the duration.


You Will Always Be My Darling

From Sir With Love


Dear Sir,

I fear I may not be able to reply to this letter appropriately as I am gigging so intensely after reading it. Oh, the memories are many.

I was perplexed that you didn’t drive at the time, but the public mode of transportation system of Sydney cleared up that confusion pretty quickly. My recent trip to Tokyo, Japan reiterated the brilliance of having such a system.  I do remember wondering at the wisdom in throwing a “goddamn Yank” behind the wheel of an Australian car, but your faith in me was unwavering.

A gentleman would not have pointed out my faux pas while driving backwards in your country, but it was good to hear you laugh. You did, however, leave out a few minor details that will clear up any obvious confusion.

I did stop at stop signs. I didn’t blow through them, Sir, and I scoff at the notion. The incident in question was a stop light. In my country, one can turn right on a red light (after coming to a full stop) if there is no traffic coming. I asked if that were true in turning left (remember backwards design here). You stated “no” that I had to wait for a green light.  There was absolutely NO traffic in the vicinity, and I was certain you were wrong. No harm no foul, so I proceeded to turn. I was an ignorant fool, and I apologize. I can still hear your laughter ringing through the car after you screeched like a girl. I have no doubt that I stuck my tongue out at you then (and now).

Those ‘silent cop’ thing-a-ma-jigs still baffle me. They appeal to my rational mind like some kind of driving video game. The more I hit, the more points I can rack up. Of course I never hit one, but I felt their magnetic pull. The temptation was fierce, but I managed to be victorious over their evil power after you told me that if I hit one, we’d blow out a tire. Fabulous!

Now that highway event makes me cringe to this day. To your credit you remained composed as my habitual driving took over and I headed to the right side of the road.  I was oblivious to the fact that it was a six lane highway. You just calmly reached over and guided me back to the WRONG side of the road and only released your breath once we were well on our way. I daresay I noticed finger grip marks on your side of the car, and I wondered where they came from. And might I add that I care about all your body parts including your sphincter, my love. Being in love addled my brain enough at the time without having to flip my way of thinking to operate a motorized vehicle in a foreign country; we were crazy. I’m certain we wouldn’t change a thing. Talking about it now brings tears of mirth, but only because we are safely ensconced in our own homes instead of looking death in the face by having me drive on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road.

Your favorite memory of driving is also my favorite memory. Your hand represented so much to me – strength, support, warmth, and love. If your hand were to find its way to my leg again Sir, we wouldn’t be driving – electric indeed.



©2013 Darling and Sir