As I sat in the driver's seat, my left foot on the clutch, my right on the accelerator, and with my mind erratically shifting focus back and forth between the rear & side mirrors, gears, and brake, I knew with absolute certainty that I had been deceived. For years many of us had dreamed of the day we could drive! We envisioned the independence, the freedom, and the absolute awesomeness that comes with the ability to drive!
We sit through the 6 hour long seminars to memorize signboards and road rules with vigour. We keep our eyes open as we are forced to watch video after video of car accidents, all shown with the intention to instill some sort of fear-induced defensive driving skills. We have one goal in mind: to get that elusive driver's license!
However, the ideas we've been allowed to formulate in our minds as early teens about driving is rather a stretch from reality.
For starters, the whole thing about a driver's license being the pathway to independence and freedom? Rubbish! Passing your driver's test means absolutely nothing until you pass your parents' test. The latter is the kind of test that will see you through at least three weeks of chaperoned drives, is completely bribe-proof, and is the final determinant as to weather you are fit to be on the road. That P on your car means nothing without the OK from your parents.
Oh, and remember those who swore that passing your Undang requires absolutely no studying? Unless they paid attention during the seminar or is otherwise already well versed with road regulations, they were lying too. Trust me, you do not want to be the person walking out of the computer room (yes, the exam is computerized) to find out that you'd just failed by two points. The least you should do is go through popular questions as preparation.
The biggest myth about driving would probably be that it doesn't take up time or effort but I assure you, it does. Your calf muscles will get a workout from holding down those pesky three pedals on the manual car, especially for those like myself who consider climbing more than two flights of stairs a form of torture. You get tired from having to be alert at all times and who on earth knew how stressful it would be to sing along to the radio and drive safely simultaneously?!
Despite it all, I (praise the Lord!) fulfilled my April goal of getting my driver's license.
Applause may ensue.
It didn't come without its fair share of chaos though. A week before my exam, an hour after I had passed my QTI (the pre-test), I unceremoniously crashed into a fence at the driving school.
My confidence was shattered & my hopes of passing were knocked down as badly as the fence. At one point, it even came down to the question of "buying insurance".
At last, I decided that passing the test through questionable means wasn't what I wanted, and so, geared myself for extra driving lessons throughout the week, sat for the exam, and came out bribe-free!
The next test is my parents'...
And even a truckload of luck wouldn't be enough to get me through that unscathed.