Today I had my third official driving lesson. It was a disaster.
My first two lessons went well. The car didn’t jerk or stall once. Today the clutch wouldn’t take and the stupid Capetonian drivers were so impatient! They may have the mountain and all that, but Cape Town has the rudest drivers I have ever met. So anyways, my driving school’s cars have dual control and I now suspect that the instructor “helped” me a little during the first two lessons without my knowledge.
I hate driving. Just thinking about it makes me want to climb under my duvet and sleep. Or stuff my face with chocolate. Those are safe methods of escaping, don’t judge them.
On my campus you are stranded if you don’t have a car. It is in an industrial area in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town. It is in the middle of nowhere and too unsafe to walk anywhere. And the only way for me to get a car is to get a driver’s license first. My mom’s exact words?
If you don’t get your license by your twenty-first birthday, we’re giving you a cutlery set instead of a car.
I shouldn’t have waited so long to get my license, but the first time I got my learner’s license, age 17, I believed I was “too busy”. Too busy being an overachiever at school, damn right. Just a pity that by now even the kids who struggled to pass Matric can now drive and I cannot.
I didn’t know what busy was! Doing stuff you love is not busy; studying medicine is busy!
I remember that day in 2007. My then-boyfriend picked me up at the testing centre in his Ford Escort 1976 (which we affectionately called Red) and gave me my first unofficial driving lesson. It was an old car and the brakes only took about ¾ of the way in.
An hour later my mom came home and gave me my second unofficial driving lesson in her 2006 Hyundai Atos. Little did I know that not all brakes take so deep and at the first stop street I braked so hard that the poor little car almost topple over (an Atos does not have a very stable centre of gravity). My poor mom got the fright of her life.
But I will. A cutlery set will be very useful, but…
I do not want a cutlery set to be the only memory of my coming of age.