Rest can wait, I have a hot update from the plate.
I took my driving test today.
What’s the big deal, you ask ?? Read on :
California is one of those states with most strict driving laws and even stricter driving tests. Eight out of the ten people I know have not passed it until the second or third attempt 😦
Back in my little town in India, I remember my driving test was a smooth sail, where passing or failing depended more on how much you could pay the inspector rather than how you drove 😉 Bad, I know..but what the heck, that was so easy !
But out here now, you realize how serious is this thing you are getting into when you casually tell people about your upcoming driving test and hear a really concerned and heartfelt ‘ Oh !! All the Best!”, more often accompanied by free pieces of advice :” Make sure you don’t slow down too much in a left turn” or “Keep scanning around while in school areas”.
Paranoia sets in pretty easily, especially for one like me who is so averse to driving ( Uh, oh, Fine..Scared of driving ) that I have been bicycling to office until now. Also, read that it makes me proud to bicycle – as a means of great exercise plus avoiding contribution to the traffic pollution !
Initial practice sessions were with the hubby, who already has a bad reputation for temper. I respectfully accept the fact that I heard enough and more of foul words from that guy in those few weeks than any gangster in Chicago would ever hear in his lifetime. Okay, exaggeration. But I am a sensitive little being who happens to be his wife, come on now, show some love !
The hubby’s so-called training got so frustrating that I gulped down tumblers of my tears every time I drove. Finally, some solace arrived in the form of ‘Nick’, the driving instructor recommended by a close cousin.
Nick was more than 60 years of age, but maintained a healthy trim body for his small Chinese build. He never used foul words..but..err..yelled anyways, using normal words. Though he said ‘Kickklinggg’ for ‘Keep going’ and ‘ Fined Fote’ for ‘Blind Spot’, he did teach me some cool tricks to backup and parallel park.
However, the day before the test I figured that I held no hope for the next day. The hubby had never ever mentioned that I can pass nor had Nick. If I was worthy of so much yelling, I really didn’t make a good driver.. yet.
I wanted to give it a shot anyway and went to the test center after thorough prayers and pleadings to Lord Ganesha, my favorite one.
The inspector was a lady…sweet looking. She sat down next to me, smiled and softly said “Go straight until the end and then take a right, okay?”. And..my heart almost melted. For the first time in the history of this poor soul, a person had spoken politely/softly while driving !!! I clearly felt my spirits rise and before I knew I was making small talk with her on the road as I drove 😀 ( Hey, plain breathing was a big deal when driving with Hubby or Nick. So this one surely was something ! )
Take a left ; Change the lane ; Pull over to park ; Back up Reverse – Nothing was complicated anymore.
When done, it felt just natural to hear “Good, you passed.”
Hubby was shocked and Nick almost had a heart attack when I told the news. But, they did smile and nod affirmatively when I pointed out “The inspector never yelled at me. She spoke sweet and polite, I just had to drive and pass”. 🙂