I knew they would be here even before we landed.  I knew I’d have to eventually confront them.  I had no idea it would reduce me to tears (but the fact there was a car behind me banging a cowbell may have had more to do with that).  Let me explain…

From what I’ve been told, roundabouts are the European, more efficient way to guide cars through intersections.  They look benign and charming but what they really are are giant slingshots of death.  You enter the roundabout heading left but you have to yield to cars coming at you from the right.  Once you begin the giant circle, you have to trust that the other cars coming at you from the left at full speed remember to yield and not plow right into you.  So now you’re yielding to the cars on the right, keeping a close eye to the cars on the left and navigating this giant circle along with 10 other cars, all of which are wishing you would speed things up.  So you give into peer pressure, speed through the circle and slingshot yourself out at your desired exit.

On the day I was navigating my first roundabout there also happened to be a gypsy fair on the other side of town.  To generate interest in the event, some crazy dude in a harlequin painted car and jester hat was tasked with speeding through town, honking his horn and hanging out of the window banging on his cowbell.  And that’s exactly what was behind me when I was in the giant automotive circle of death – a mad jester with a cowbell.  Hence the tears and a vow to only take mass transit for the rest of our stay.

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