Driving terrifies me. There I said it. I’m scared of getting behind the wheel and navigating the streets… especially the streets in Lebanon. They are such a disaster. No rules anywhere, motorcycles crisscrossing all over the place, no street lights, cars cutting you off without so much as a warning, people who choose to walk on streets instead of sidewalks… the list is endless.
However, you’ll be surprised to learn that I do actually have a driving license, even if I don’t put it to use. My parents are always nagging me to get a car because they don’t want me riding cabs everyday, and they always end their argument with, “If you never wanted to drive, then why on Earth did you go and get a license?” In fact, my mother said that to me just this morning, which is incidentally what prompted me to write about this.
Well, to be honest, I did want to drive at first, but my driving adventures weren’t really encouraging.
During my first lesson, my driving instructor thought it would be useful to teach me how to drive using manual transmission. Bad idea. I couldn’t figure out how to shift gears and ended up stopping in the middle of the road, and let’s not forget that I have zero sense of direction. Plus, according to the instructor, I kept strangling the wheel. I don’t know what she meant by that but I gathered it wasn’t a good thing.
Five lessons later, we had switched to automatic and I was driving a bit better. However, my instructor kept complaining that I don’t use my honk a lot. I don’t know what she’s talking about; it’s not like I nearly hit two pedestrians and a car, it’s not my fault that they don’t watch where they’re walking. It was a bit mean of her to say that she’s afraid of getting back in the car with me. 😦
A couple of lessons after that, I grew accustomed to my honk. However, all that honking didn’t do me any good when my brakes failed and I hit the back of a mini-bus. The car I was driving was old. Thankfully, no real damage happened and I was off on my way… but I did shoot dirty glances at my instructor. For all I know she might’ve been trying to sabotage me!
On the last day I nearly committed roadkill. Everything was going so well for most of the lesson, then towards the end I had to drive out of the open space where I was driving, I looked left and right before attempting to pull onto the street, then suddenly… a man appears right in front of me. Thank goodness for emergency brakes or I would’ve definitely run him over. But seriously, who crosses in front of a moving car?!
You’d think my instructor would make sure I never drove again, but as a mark of how corrupt the system here in Lebanon is, I got my driving license a few weeks later, without even having to go through a driving test. So you see, my logic is: if they grant licenses to people like me who have terrible driving skills, what’s stopping them from giving a license to a person with even a worse grip on the wheel?
Do you find driving scary, or is it a breeze for you? Do you have any funny driving stories to share? Do you think I should get behind the steering wheel or stick to the passenger seat?