Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Driver's license

My love-hate relationship with driving started 30 years ago. That was some dinousaur years ago and many bloggers I know here were just speck of flagging tails in their fathers blood.
I took the highway code test in Singapore and I passed the first sitting. But from there on, I had to do the actual driving and those days, I was so pitifully poor. I had to pay for the lessons myself and that time I didn't really have a job that I can survive on. So I stopped and forget all about driving. Finished and I thought I would not drive at all.

Got married, got the children and hubby got transfered to Wales, UK.
I was a good friend to neighbour, Sally Llewellyn and the first year that I knew Sally, she couldn't drive at all. But once in a while, I saw Sally's husband giving Sally some instructions in the car and after sometimes, I heard Sally passed her driving and proudly showed off her driving license to other neighbours.
I envied her so much, I mean she passed without much effort and not even getting the proper teacher to give instructions on driving.
Sally advised me to take up driving and I did. Tomo was about 1 year plus and I had to pay Kathy, another neighbour's daughter to babysit on lesson days.
My first instructor was a lady, very jumpy and edgy. She always repeat the mistakes I made over and over and I was with her for about 4 lessons only. Not because of the boring way she taught but because she was a lesbian.
Of course, nothing like she touched or smoothened my skin. I knew because she was a famous lesbian in that area. People would asked me and the minute I mentioned her name, one brow went slightly up.
I knew too late about her and after a couple of lessons when she didn't turned up, I had to tell her the deal was off.
That was a one-time thing I had with a lesbian and I promised till now, no more lesbians crossed my pious path.
Actually, that incident turned me off from driving for a little while but Sally insisted again that I shouldn't give it up half way through.
Then, I took up with somebody called Peterson. Peterson was tall, heavy top and middle and the typical mid-age english man. I still remember very clearly, like the vivid water from the stonefall in my neighbour's garden, the first thing he did was to teach me how to fill the car at a self-service station. Peterson said all instructors teach how to drive but never a lesson on how to fill the car up. I knew that was just some lame excuse he made up since the car's gas was empty for the day's lesson.
On my first lesson and already I felt cheated and used.

Anyway, I continued with Peterson but I took his lesson as a get-away from home, like a breath away from house duties. Peterson lessons were more like looking the scenery, very distracting and not at all in seriousness.
After 10 lessons, he put me up for the first test.

I failed.
Failed to make the proper movements at the roundabouts. Little, little towns in Wales have roundabouts every couple of miles or so and you can never missed about 5 roundabouts when you go for the weekly shopping less than 3 km away. To the Walshes (I forgot what you called Wales people...Whales or Walshes), roundbouts are like the aorta of their hearts, don't ever make mistakes at roundabouts over there.

I tooked another 10 more lessons and this time again, I was still distracted but improved a little by showing some attention to my driving. This second round, Peterson was more personal. He talked on more personal subjects like his first marriage, his second, he first wife and his second wife, his first house and his second house. This is what I mean by distracted and still showing attention to him.

After the 10 lessons done. Took the test and....FAILED again!
Couldn't do the parallel parking on a steep slope. I parked alright but forgot to pull the handbrake and the car slide gingerly, ever so gracefully, down the steep slope.
Did I give up...oh no. I signed up for another 10 lessons. But trouble was, I still couldn't keep my eyes on the road. I was always looking at some yellow leaves maple tree, squirrels jumping between branches, wild raspberries heavy with red fruits or granny smith apples hanging down some front yards.

At the end of that 10 lessons, I took the third test and you guessed it...I FAILED again!
Peterson didn't want to take me back. He said his teaching time was fully-booked but I knew Peterson gave up on me.

Too much narative in one day here, I will continue my driving lessons in Malaysia and Japan the next entry.


  1. Kak lela..

    Sebab tu la ani dulu laaaaaamaaaaaa pakai lasen AGUNG ( no lesson)..thank GOD, tak pernah la pulak polis tahan ( either in Malaysia or Japan ) but bila ada aje lesson..suka la pulak polis nak tahan...he hehe

  2. salam aini,
    kira selamatlah bila polis tahan dah ada lesen.
    Ataupun bila dah ada lesen, cik dik nie buat kasar giler dgn kereta tak?
    Berhati-hati ye aini, semua kesalahan jalan raya di Jepun, walaupun hanya dapat amaran mulut sahaja, tapi dicatat dlm buku rekod.