16 February 2012.
The sun was still deep in slumber beyond the golden horizons. It was somewhere around seven o' clock in the morning. The murky azure of midnight still draped across the atmosphere above the Rain Town (That's MY hometown, Taiping! It rains almost daily, hence its name)
On the way to the driving school, uncle kept telling me this and that about the road. How many people got run over by vehicles, his late-grandson's accident cases, bla bla bla. As usual, cars dashed across the roads in a flash!
He's swearing (and he swears like that along the way whenever cars dash across)
Driving, again! Nah, another day of madness, another day of frustration, another day of bliss (for being able to drive on the ROAD). There I was, at the large driving school, waiting for driving lessons while my driving instructor (to make things simple, I'll call him Uncle throughout the whole post) when, most of my peers are still deep in slumber (I bet, because we are students no more-at least for three months!)
It was the matter of slopes and parking the entire morning. Of course, uncle chided me for going up the slope too quickly at first. Going up the slope, Stop at the yellow line (slightly after the first pole but before the second pole), pull the hand brake twice, check the tyre, raise my hand. Coming down the slope: press the "oil" and raise the hand brake after releasing the clutch enough, then descend the slope. Easy, right?
Yes, it SOUNDS easy.
I did not go straight down the slope before reaching the poles (In Malaysia, we call reverse as Gostan. Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hindustan (movie), and now another term: GOSTAN. Okay, you get it now. Nevertheless, I always manage to get it way ahead of the yellow line before stopping, and as a result, Uncle "chap liam" at me...!!! ("Chap Liam" means "nagging" in Hokkien-imagine Grandmothers! ) Otherwise, I would have stopped too early, and down went the car.
"Release the clutch! Brake slowly, and let the car down! Okay, start AGAIN!!!"
Anyway, the slope is far from a big deal. Well, at least, I can go up the slope steadily and safely, and there are not too many "Gostan" which occurred. Okay? Okay. Deal.
Now, the slope stuff is done. Parking-THAT was the ultimate problem! Despite having many poles as reference, I was somehow confused-no, but 100% ALWAYS confused! When to turn right, when to turn left, how many turns... Uncle even told me to look at the mirror as reference! What mirror? Triangle mirror or side mirror? My goodness... There was even a time in which I was to reverse with two turns of the steering to the right and see if the pole was in view, half of the left mirror, and later turn the steering right completely. I ran into the poles just like that. Worse of all, it was drizzling.
Obviously, I got chided.
In whichever and whatever way either, I often failed to get the vehicle right during parking. Now that QTI is around the corner, I often found myself driving with bated breath and shaky hands. Cannot get the parking right again during the actual driving examination and I will fail. that simply means, forking out extra Ringgits and get my Driving Licence late. HELP!
I really hope that I soon understand the parking basics. Driving up the slope is okay, driving on the roads is no big deal (But those with heart attack or are elderly, don't take a ride from me yeah. No insurance!), but parking-that's the deal.
Thus, that was my one-hour-and-half morning session of driving, speeding (if I get naughty, but don't worry, the cars at the driving school are annoyingly slow and rickety, so I can go only as fast as a snail anyway...), bumping (on the disgusting speed breakers on the road) and frustration. That was not the end.
The noon was blazing hot. Uncle called me to go to the driving school again. WHAT? oh my darn goodness. Parking again? Apparently, it was for half an hour.
"Sharon, wait there (Waiting place), okay?"
So I wait. No, I did not learn driving for half-an-hour, but I actually WAITED like a fool impatiently for half an hour. Until Uncle Woon called out my name, the wait has finally ended! Yes, it was my long-awaited QTI. Test drive! Hallelujah~!!!
I was to drive road F. Ha ha. By far, the easiest road to drive among three planned routes, because I just need to drive around Taiping Lake garden. It is just that the cars that dashed out of nowhere that left me frightened. thus, slowly I began driving-in a rickety manner. Kriak... Kriak... Kriak... Yes, I am not joking. That is how the car sounds. Almost with no guidance, I somehow managed to drive safely. Praise the GOD!
Two more hours to go, and I am all set to the Driving Examination. Wait, am I really all SET? I don't think so. All I have to do is drive extra slowly, clearing out some brain space to remember the parking stuffs, and pray for myself.
Amitabha please save ME!!!