For me, theory has always worked out better than practice. I understand theory better because in my culture rote memory is highly valued and emphasized, well at least historically. So today I was terrified to actually get into the driver seat and put my theory into practice. I was so nervous that I couldn’t stop pacing. Then my driving instructor called and it turned out that he was misinformed about the pick up location and ended up 30 minutes late. I was so nervous that I left my house without my driver’s licence. Like duh, how am I supposed to legally drive without it. IDIOT! But he was very patient and made me feel really comfortable. I have had no practical experience and he made me feel like I wasn’t an idiot for not knowing where the gas and brake pedals were or forgetting which way to turn my wheels for downhill parking or which way the vehicle’s rear goes or for telling him I should be parking 50 metres from the curb instead of centimetres…I mean I corrected that, but still really embarrassed for making that mistake. He grabbed the wheel only on one occasion and that was when he was trying to get me to do a three point turn. Unfortunately there was a big truck coming and he said to let go of the wheel and let him do it so that I wouldn’t block traffic too long trying to get the turn down. Another time he slammed on the brakes was when I was following a car and nearly hit it because it suddenly stopped. I felt really bad, but at least I didn’t jump a curb, parked perfectly uphill, downhill and for parallel park, and didn’t hit anything or anyone. Right now turns, speed and stops aren’t my strong point. Sometimes I have trouble judging the distance and braking in time to come to a completely smooth stop. And turns sometimes I hit the gas instead of the brakes going around the corner or else I slow down too much and don’t have enough gas to make it around the corner. Since I just started today, I kept going too slow, except once when I accidentally went 60 km/h in a 50 zone, but I slowed down as soon as I noticed I was over. I felt like I was distracted by all the checking in the mirror stuff and I wasn’t sure how people think they can drive while texting or reading or applying makeup or whatever they do behind the wheel that they shouldn’t be doing
Tomorrow I’ll have to drive home from the dentist which is pretty much driving from the university home. Luckily I am familiar with the roads around there. Sort of. But also it will be my first time interacting with other drivers and pedestrians, but also with traffic lights. Since my community is very quiet and most people had already left for work there weren’t many vehicles on the road. Whenever I saw one, I naturally just panicked a little. I think the instructor noticed and sometimes he would put his hand on the steering wheel just to make sure I didn’t over correct to avoid hitting another car or something. My biggest fear is still hitting another car and not being able to stop, but I’m a lot more confident than I was to begin with. I’m actually looking forward to my next lesson.