Driving has always been one of my favorite things to do. The feeling of driving a fast moving vehicle(safely :)) can be compared to a free flying bird with no restrictions and barriers. I got the first feel of a vehicle 20 years ago(!) and it has been an exciting experience all along. The feeling of exhilaration and independence, we can get from driving one’s own vehicle cannot be described!!
Driving in the US:
I learnt to drive in the US several years ago on an old model of Nissan Sentra. I had no prior driving experience and learnt it from my newly wedded husband! 🙂 (as was the norm in those days and maybe even now!!)
The vehicle was a manual transmission vehicle and it was interesting to learn all about the clutch, the gear and the accelerator. I have never been one of the automobile aficionado or anything close to that in my life…And to learn to drive a manual transmission vehicle with all the “pieces”, was hilarious and nerve racking to say the least.
The vehicle would jerk and sputter to a halt anytime, if the “clutch” was not handled properly.The clutch had to be pressed completely when moving up gears, and it had to be released gently too! Anytime the clutch was not released gently, the car would shudder and shake and keep me all on edge! Having a good relationship with the clutch in the car was at the crux of a beautiful or not-so-beautiful relationship with the car!
The first and second gears were always the tricky ones. When changing the gear from the first to second, the vehicle would always growl or grumble, if I had not pressed the “clutch” properly!! (sigh, that clutch) Understanding the vehicle was an interesting exercise, one that I had never embarked upon before, and which kept me guessing as what it would do next(will it stop completely, growl, grumble, grind or screech?!! :)) Up from third and fourth and fifth gears, I had the car in decent control.
In spite of having mastered the art of driving the car after 3-4 months of intense training, I would still gasp at the prospect of seeing roads that had an up slope – for if I had parked the car on an up slope and tried to re-start the car in first gear, it would gradually slip down……(ouch) I would always gasp at the thought of a car standing closely behind and bumping into it….
Finally, I banished all my “driving ghosts” and enjoyed driving on all roads. Eventually, we did buy automatic transmission vehicles and driving was a much more easier experience then. It was a pleasure to drive on 6 lane highways at safe speeds and cover all our desired destinations at the turn of a wheel…
What is it like to drive in India…that in the next post!! 🙂