Sunday, May 29, 2005

Me Can't Drive

Everyone who knows me knows I can't drive. It's not like I don't want to learn. In fact, I'd love to get a driver's license so I can finally say goodbye to bussing my way around. I'm still waiting for the perfect time to learn though. I just can't seem to fit it in my busy sched... Am I procrastinating too much? Possibly.

I've only driven a few times. My first go at it was in 1998. We were bringing my brother to soccer practice and my parents let me drive the car. I did pretty well, hey... no fines, no injuries, no damages to the car... just one nervous Mom at the backseat. I never got to touch a steering wheel again until after I graduated from uni in 2003. I told myself that I'll spend some time on learning how to drive while I'm on holidays.

My brother agreed to teach me a bit before I go to a driving school. Here's what happened on our first lesson...

Ragee: Ate, that's the clutch. That one over there's the brake.
Den: Yep, cool...
Ragee: This is how you change gears... blah blah blah... Ok?
Den: Pano ulit? (Ragee shows me how and lets me do it.)
Ragee: Ok na?
Den: Sige kaya na.

A few minutes later, while happily driving and thinking that I'm winging it...

Ragee: Ok, brake, brake, brake!

(Being the good student that I am, I promptly stepped on the clutch.)

Ragee: Sinabi nang brake eh! Labas!

I learned one lesson that day. Never ever mess with your brother's car. He probably loves it more than he loves you. ;)

Later on that month, my Mom got me an old car that I can practice on. It was automatic so obviously, it was also much easier to drive. I had a few tries at driving it to church... no big improvements cos the church is only 5 minutes away from our house. But at least I felt like I was heading somewhere. Not long after that, I got the job offer here in Australia. I suddenly had heaps of things to do before leaving. And to make the long story short, I had to put driving aside.

I could've started learning again when I got here. So why didn't I? Apart from right hand drives and millions of roundabouts, the whole process of getting a driver's license in Australia is also heaps different. You have to take a few lessons, get a Learner's license and keep that license for at least a year. While on your L's, you can't drive without a fully licensed driver in the same car. It sucks, I know. From your L's, you have to take exams to qualify for a Provisional driver's license. Once you have your P's, you can drive by yourself but a few driving offenses can easily lead to suspension of your license. Oh, and not only that... You'd also have to stay on P's for 3 years, I think. I was just thinking to myself... By the time I get past L's, I'd probably be back in the Philippines. Great huh?

I guess the whole driving story's turned around since I'm staying here longer. Who knows? I might actually get around to learning how to drive sooner than everyone thinks. But for now, I've come across a seemingly good enough alternative...

postie bike


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