Tita Buds wrote a blog about the 3 things she can’t do. Driving is one of them. Her story of driving her brother’s SUV and almost hitting a chicken on the side of the road and crushing rice being laid out to dry reminded me of the first time I was behind the wheel. Oh the wonderful memories…
Unlike most of my peers, I didn’t get my driver’s license until after high school.
When I passed my driver’s permit test, my mom took me on my first driving experience in her minivan. We used to live near a big busy street, so she decided to take me one early morning and practice on this street. Everything was going well—that is—until my mom told me to turn at the next street.
I made the sharp 90 degree turn at 35 mph. Who knew you had to step on the brakes and slow down when you make a turn? My mom did not say anything about slowing down. She simply just said, “Make a right turn at the next street.” And in my excited and nervous state of mind, it did not occur to me to slow down. Not at all.
Because I executed the turn at such a fast speed, I drove into the left-turning lane of the opposite lane. Luckily there wasn’t a car in that lane or we would’ve turned into mush. Seeing that I was in the wrong lane, I quickly and dangerously swerved into the right lane, not realizing that there was a car behind me on the right lane.
My mom freaked out and informed me that the drive was over. She drove us home the rest of the way, which was less than 1 minute away. That was the first and last time she ever took me out to drive.
Dear Spouse was the one who taught me how to drive. (He was my boyfriend back then). He owned a Honda Accord with a manual transmission. He took me out to the country roads to practice my driving. He taught me how to put the car into gear, step on the clutch, and release the gas pedal. I stalled the car and peeled out a gazillion times before mastering how to drive a stick shift. My dear spouse taught me how to change gears, slow down, speed up, and stop. He taught me how to slowly make turns because he did not want me to make another turn at 35 mph. He was very patient with me—very patient.
After spending a few days on the country roads, I graduated to quiet neighborhood streets, then to bigger, busier streets, then to downtown traffic.
I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 19. I failed my driving test twice before barely passing.
When the DMV drive-tester (because I don’t know their official title) told me I had passed my driving test, I let out a huge sigh and said, “Thank you!” She smirked and said, “Don’t be too happy about it. You barely passed.”
If I didn’t need to drive to get around, I wouldn’t even drive. I live in a small city where public transportation is a joke compared to San Francisco, New York, and LA, so having a car is a must. I am still driving a stick shift, and although I still get a bit nervous when I stop on an incline with heavy traffic, I no longer make 90 degree turns at 35 mph.