In April, my daughter and I spent a week in Ireland, mostly on the west coast in Connemara (County Galway) and the Burren (County Clare). We got used to left-side driving on the new highway between Dublin and Galway. We were amused by the GPS showing that we were driving across fields rather than on any road; obviously the mapping had not yet been updated.
Connemara is a wild landscape. Electricity and cars did not become established until the latter half of the 1900's. With the real estate bubble, however, new houses have sprung up and tourists are more common. The local roads haven't changed, bordered by hedgerows and rock walls. Sheep and Connemara ponies populate the fields, and even run loose, creating occasional driving obstacles.
The host at our B&B in Fanore (County Clare), Noel, drives a scheduled passenger bus, going from Doolin (a little bit south of Fanore) to Galway City. I told him that I was impressed with the brinksmanship that the buses engaged in on the narrow roads causing the oncoming traffic to edge over to the left as far as one dares, slowing or stopping if necessary. These are often gorgeous, unblemished behemoths that come at you with a certainty that you WILL get out of their way. I pointed out that these buses are often driving over the line (where there is one) taking up more than their fair share of the road. Obviously, they intend to remain unblemished and let the foreign yokels pay for the scratches that are inevitable as you sidle up to the hedgerow and rock walls.
Local farmers are not very friendly on the road either. We were poking around on a one-track road, when all of a sudden we were faced with a modern John Deere with a front-end loader right in our face. It was very clear that he was not going to back up. Backing up is not my favorite thing, but I slowly moved in reverse with the farmer creeping right up on my front, just so I could remember he was there. We finally were able to get off on the side and he roared past. Needless to say, one-track road driving is not for the faint of heart.
Noah's sage driving advice was to engage in one's own bit of road intimidation by always leaving at least a foot of space on the left side of the car. You have a place to move to if you absolutely have to, but maybe you can get the oncoming traffic to move over instead. Is there is relevance for life in general in that advice?