The way I was taught to know when to change gears when driving a car is to feel the car.  I guess it's about feeling the vibrations from the revs.  Aussies tend to have beastie cars so it is pretty easy to feel the engine.  If you can't feel then you hear the change via the rev noise.  As a last resort, and you generally shouldn't need to get to this stage if you know how to drive, is to look at your speed to know when to change gears.  All my driving life I have been able to feel when the right time is to change gears, until Norway... Driving a manual car is much safer in Norway because you have more control, especially over snow and ice.  However, I'm having a very hard time knowing when to change gears in Winter.  Feeling the car, or hearing the car, is not happening for me.  It might be because every Winter the roads are covered with a foot of ice and snow so much so that the speed bumps disappear altogether.  Not only that, the busses with their snow chains rib up the roads so when the car jiggles over your voice shakes.  It's great for grip but it sure makes it hard to hear, let alone feel, the car.  So now I have to resort to looking at the speedo if I want to know when to change gears.  What a hassle! ;D I'm just glad that 2nd gear is a robust little fella otherwise I would have gone through several gear boxes by now. 

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