Spoiler alert: It’s gonna be a very long post and this post is not about motherhood.And the title is the inspiration from “How I Met your Mother” 😉
“I can’t do this, It’s simply not my thing, It’s my mistake that i decided to go for a driving lesson” I was about to cry and collapsed in the bed after my second driving lesson. I feel super giddy because of my extreme nervousness and couldn’t wake up for 2 hours. After a needed rest i came out of room.
Big s asked “what happened?”
” I don’t know. I tried to control the steering but forgot to press the gas pedal. ( Accelerator). If i concentrate on gas pedal i could not steer the wheel properly. And I afraid to press the gas pedal too fast and so the car didn’t move more than 20 miles per hour. The instructor was fed up with me , He should have dropped me at home , but instead he asked me to drive to the Main road which got 4 lanes on each side and where 2 major highways joined .There when i need to stop at the signal ,I pressed the gas pedal instead of brake and we almost hit the car in front of us. Thank god . He controlled the car from his side of brake 😥 .(It was a Dual controlled vehicle to teach driving)”.
Big s was laughed heart fully 😀 after hearing my story and can’t controlled his laughter even after seeing my angry face . His laugh was contagious and after some time i also started laughing.
So the background story was,
The first big shock after i came to U.S. was the zero public transportation facility. The 4 years of Geneva life totally spoiled me . The 5 minutes once tram , the punctuality of them, the convenience of checking the next tram time in app before starting from home everything made me think that all the developed countries would have these facilities. But U.S gave me a bolt hit shock of there is no public transport other than a single bus( Don’t Imagine a big latest model bus,Its very old and unreliable ,it resembles our dog catching van in India, that much small with back door emergency exit) which nobody knows when will it come and when will it not.
We are not in metro or downtown.( Again we were not in downtown in Geneva too 😦 .)If you wanna go anywhere even to the shop that located in 1 mile distance from your home you need a car. There is no facilities for the pedestrians like cross walk signal or proper sidewalk platforms. If you walk ,you need to walk on the road where anyone at any time can hit you with their car. So its basically cars, cars cars , cars.
You have a choice of cab . But which is kind of costly and have to install my kids car seats each and every time and should carry with me after we get down from the cab which is not at all possible.
I felt handicapped for the first 6 months. I rely on Big s for every outing. I can’t go out by myself. I remembered my glorious days in Geneva where i went anywhere i want with my sh1 sitting in his stroller comfortably. All the Geneva trams&buses have special stroller gates. Even the buses can slid one side low so that the wheel chair persons or strollers can easily get in. Coming to U.S without knowing to drive a car was a big mistake. I was house arrested.
whenever i complained about this big s suggested me to learn driving . So i reached a point where i realized without learning to drive a car i can’t survive in U.S. So i decided to learn and asked Big s to teach me. Who was shocked like anything and told “No, I can’t teach you. Where will we leave our kids then? ”
“Let them sit in the back seat as usual”I replied coolly.
“Are you nuts? It’s legally offense. The learner permit holders should not drive with passengers”.
“But all the Indian ladies here learnt in that way. They made their kids sit in the back seats and their husbands teach them to drive”.
“They might have done like that, But i don’t want to. More over its a risk to all of us.Try to understand this. The learner license holder should drive the car only if a proper driving license holder is accompany them and they should not drive with back seat passengers.First you clear the written test and get the learners permit,then lets look for a good driving school”.
So i started to study for my driving license. Almost after a week went to attend the written test. ( actually the test was taken in computer with multiple choice question) . Thank fully I passed the exam and got my learners driving license that day itself.
Now I have to search the driving school. with the help of google found so many driving schools near me , and I shortlisted 3 from them based on their rating and pickup and drop off facility. within that 2 of them are already booked up to winter.( To learn driving in winter is almost impossible). The remaining one was charging nearly $600 for 8 hours lesson. What????!!!!!! 😯 (36000 Rs to learn car driving??? !!!). Its habitual for Indians in U.S to convert every penny to Indian currency and i am not an exception. Though Big s was ok with this i don’t have a heart to invest that much money.
I was searching and inquiring with my apartment friends for other options.And one of them told, “one of her friend in some other apartment learnt the driving from one private instructor who charged half of the price of driving schools.He is reliable and very nice person too”. she is so kind to get his number from her friend. and I contacted him.
He charged $250 for 8 hours lesson. I was ok with it. I had a confident of i will learn driving within 8 hours. How wrong i was…
We scheduled two weekends ,evening 4 to 6 for my driving lessons.
The first Saturday i was too nervous and got ready at 3.45. He came to pick up me. The car was looking new.wow… And he was around 60 years old. Lets call him grandpa.After introduced ourselves i got into the passenger seat. After 10 minutes drive we reached a big empty car parking. I was ready to sit on the driver seat. He switched off the engine and took a small miniature car from back seat.
Inquired me about our car model .And asked me whether its a AWD(All wheel Drive?) . I told yes. Then he asked ,“what s the difference between Front wheel drive and all wheel drive”. 🤔 meh.. I don’t know the basic difference between “Activa” and “bike” other than size. How come i knew this one?? I was looking at him like a dumb student. Grandpa was looking at me like “say some answer otherwise i won’t allow you to drive my car”. So I gave the world’s dumbest answer.
“You know I am basically a software Engineer. I don’t know much about cars and their mechanisms”. That’s 100% wrong answer and i faced the consequences of that for the remaining 2 hours.
“You should know about the car lady. you should.. other wise you can’t drive the car. To learn driving first you should understand its mechanisms”. With that he started to explain the difference and explained each and every details of car with that miniature model.
I had my heavy lunch at 3.15.(briyani with chicken gravy)its a nice sunny evening. His lecture made me extremely sleepy. After some time i couldn’t even hear him properly . My mind already dozed off. It took enormous effort not to close my eyes.When ever I suppressed my yawn I nodded my head to balance that. So at 4.45 he stopped his lecture “OMG.. only 1 hour 15 mins left. Let me drive the car ” I spoken to myself.
he turned back again and put the car down.I was ready to remove my seat belt. He took some circular cardboard with a clock drawing on that . With this he started to explain how we should consider our steering wheel as a clock and how to turn it to 12 o clock to 3 clock blah blah blah.. i dozed off again.. “pls pls pls Don’t sleep .. Listen to this.. This is important to drive the car.. ” I tried to wake up my already dozed off brain.. 15 mins over.
I have one full hr now to practice . He put down the cardboard clock and took another one. What ???!!!! 😯 “Grandpa this is too much. I lost my patience”. The board has the details of how to enter from 4 lane road to 2 lanes ,and two lane road to single lane and vice versa. I told him i already studied these things for written test with the hope of he would stop this lecture and would let me drive the car.
But he asked me ,“oh yeah.. then tell me Is it ok to go from 4 lane outer lane to two lane inner lane”?The 4 lane to what ???!!! 😯 I looked at him with my sleep deprived eyes.
“That is why i told you any idiot could get a learner license and any idiot can get a driving license,But to drive safely in the road you need these knowledge” grandpa was really angry now .Wow.. why should haven’t i shut my mouth and pretend to listen lecture like i did in my engineering classes. 🙄
So he finished this time at 5.30. I almost lost hope of i am gonna practice driving that day. But after that We swapped seats. He asked me to buckle my seat. Ok. Finally i am gonna drive . Having full 30 minutes . He asked me where is the wiper control?.Again??? 🙄 How come i knew? 😕 I didn’t knew where is the wiper control is in our car ,let alone i knew in his car… Again I looked at him with my pleading eyes.Please stop asking questions . 😥
He didn’t bother about my expressions at all.. he started to explain me about the car controls . The gear controls, steering wheels buttons,How to set your side mirrors and how to adjust your rear view mirror, left indicator, right indicator blah blah blah.. he finished with the radio volume button(Seriously?? !!! 😯) .. . Ha.. its 5.50.
So we swapped the seats again and he dropped me at my home . I didn’t even start the engine of the car for full 2 hours..
(To be continued…)
For the next part How I Met My Driving License- II
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