Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Driving Lessons - Orientation

Last Sunday I officially started my driving lesson via an orientation class held at A1 Driving School – SM North Edsa branch. As usual, I got confused again as to directions that I ended up circling the main building before finding their office. How’s that for a preview of my navigation skills?

I was getting some paranoid thoughts on my way there. I had to ask myself how I would feel if there won’t be other students there and I might end up having a one-one orientation with the instructor. To my surprise and intense relief, I got there and saw a lot of attendees. At least I won’t be alone in my ignorance!

Again, I was surprised when the instructor started discussing the basics on how to drive a car. I expected that it would just be a briefing of the rules and regulations of the school. And it confirmed my fear that I am expected to immediately drive (crash?) the car on my first day of actual driving. Scary! Being eager to learn and do well, I took some notes. And I think I’m the only one who took down notes like I have an exam the following day. I asked the first question because I can’t help myself – I wanna know! My question? In manual transmission, why can’t you stay in one gear? Why do you have to shift gears regularly? Not a bad question, but as I would be driving an automatic, irrelevant. Still, nice to know, right? So after that, the other students asked their questions, too, while I was left to ponder in silence whether automatic is really the better option than manual. Both seemed complicated enough for me.

They said that driving a car is just like riding bump cars (sans the objective of bumping into other cars) and is relatively easy enough. Well, they forgot to tell me that apart from the gas pedal, brake pedal and steering wheel, I also had to deal with the use of the handbrake, when to apply half brake or full brake, when to put the car in neutral, how to turn right or left, what is an odometer and a tachometer, and about a million things I never really thought about when driving bump cars. Not to mention the various damages I might deal to the car if I don’t do some things properly. I sense a big bill coming up on my first maintenance inspection.

The instructor was very good at explaining stuffs; my ignorance level dropped a few points. He also got a good sense of humor – it took off some nervousness I felt. He kept on telling us to not panic during driving lessons and to develop self confidence. Easy for him to say

Well, I think I’m good. I’m psyching myself up for my first actual driving. The instructor said that I’m insured, the driving instructor is insured and the car is insured, so, no worries. How cool is that? Any lady friends who want to volunteer to chaperone me? But you better have complete confidence in me since chaperones aren’t insured.

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