First a quick recap of what happened to me on the road so far:
- Took a refresher course two weeks ago at one of those professional driving schools. They pretty much confirmed what my brother-in-law implied about my lack of road rules (um... duh, that's why I enrolled for the class to begin with). Spent five hours driving on a highway, tunnel, flyover, and up and down Antipolo. I have the tendency to swerve my steering wheel instead of slowing down and stepping on the brakes when I try to avoid collision course, which I realized is kinda like how I walk: I strut, then I overtake the the slow gossipy ones who occupy the entire sidewalk. Note to self: remind yourself that driving a car is already faster than your usual pace, and the roads are wider... most of the time.
- Took the car to the office for the first time the following Tuesday. Mother had one of her former drivers accompany me on the way. He had no comments, apart from the usual stuff like I should make sure I check the side mirrors and stuff. He's supposed to pick me up and accompany me on the way home too but something apparently came up that I ended up driving alone for the first time. At night. Along roads that merge to one lane every 500 meters because of pipe-laying stuff.
- The following day, said driver became really chatty, especially on the way home from work. It was raining and we tried a different route that involved narrow streets. He had more comments that was almost distracting (but definitely annoying). I realized I liked driving barefoot--at least for now. I can manage the pads (pedals?) better.
- Drove all by myself last Friday (with music!). Took the alternative routes again, which resulted in two major boo-boos: 1) I didn't slow down on time that I almost crashed into a tricycle that suddenly stopped for alighting passengers--to the point that the guy behind the driver actually lifted his legs because I was that near; 2) actually crashed (well, sideswiped) a parked scooter. In my defense, there was sudden oncoming traffic from the opposite direction. Good thing I was really slow (narrow streets forces a car to do that) that only the scooter's handlebars connected to my side mirror. I didn't see the owner though. I hope he wasn't pissed.
For years, the reasons I put off re-learning driving are as follows: traffic is bad, the drivers are bad, the roads are bad, and the gas prices are bad. I can use the two-hour traffic during morning rush to sleep on a bus, rather than risk a leg cramp pressing on the (clutch and) brakes. Drivers blow their horns rather than slow down. Fares are cheaper than a liter of gasoline. These cons have all been proven true in the last ten days, unfortunately. But on the last two Thursdays, when I couldn't drive the car unless I wanted to wake up at 5AM, I finally understood the... benefits. I can sing Mariah songs at the top of my lungs for crying out loud. :)
I think I'll do better in the coming days (although last night I played patintero with another car while doing a U-turn). I still drive slow, and ironically I can't go out on gimiks that much now because mother insists I go home as early as possible for her health and sanity's sake.
But hey, at least I know how to cut into a lane.
(Yeah, I think I'm learning the wrong things.)