Speaking of Marcetta has reminded me of something. Specifically, something that annoys me. A lot.
So, she is a little Fiat. Made in Italy. Not a bad little car, for the most part. Except for one thing. The indicator lever is on the left.
If you’ve only ever driven continental cars, and you could certainly be forgiven for that, then perhaps this has never even occurred to you. It will now. It will annoy you continuously.
Let’s imagine you’re coming off a roundabout. You’ve slowed down; now you want to speed up. So you need to change gear.
Also, since you’re coming off a roundabout, you want to indicate. You do indicate when you come off a roundabout, right? Because if you don’t, then let me tell you: I fucking hate you.
No problem, you think. Car manufacturers wouldn’t be so stupid as to force you to control both indicating and gear-changing with the same hand. After all, they’re both important functions. Far better to have gear-changing and the wipers controlled by the same hand, with the other dedicated to indicating. After all, how often do you need to change gear and urgently get your wipers on? That’s right: never.
And you know what? Car manufacturers aren’t that dumb. They’ve thought of that. But they are very, very lazy.
Continentals – and Yanks, for that matter, although God forbid you buy an American car – drive on the right. Don’t ask me why: it’s just one of these things that they insist on doing, just to be different to Britain. Whatever.
Of course, if you’re driving on the right, you’re sitting on the left of the car. So you’re right hand is controlling the gear stick. So the indicator control needs to be on the left.
When that car’s imported to Britain, do they leave the steering column on the left? No, no they don’t. In fact, they go to the presumably quite complicated length of shifting it to the right.
Do they go to the incredibly trivial length of swapping the indicator and wiper controls? No they do not.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why – when I can actually afford a new car – I will be buying Japanese.