This will be my journal of how I started learning to drive. It will be a rough journal and I’m writing this purely from my memory of my day today. No edits, no drafts. Just take from it whatever you need if you are like me, having the fear of driving but still wanted to go out there, and learn how to drive. Goodluck to us.
This morning finally, I got the time to go with my father to start my driving lesson. Instead of going to a driving school, I decided to ask Papa to teach me. I thought it will be better that I give him some money for teaching me instead of a paying a driving school. Papa is a good driver even if he’s already a senior citizen. He drives me to blogging events and I can say he is still efficient in driving. Unlike other drivers who’ll make you sick riding their car, Papa is a smooth driver.
I already got my student’s permit last month. I’ll write a separate blog post about it. The student permit will expire after a year so I decided I should start learning already. I have this fear of vehicles because of so many vehicular accidents I hear in the news so I think this will hamper me a lot. But I chose to conquer my fear by learning how to drive. I always tell myself that you will only fear something that you don’t understand so here I am.
We’ve started a little late, around 8AM at the back area of a nearby hospital. There are a few people walking here and there, some vehicles, but generally, the area was good enough to practice driving.
First thing I need to learn is the things I need to check before I turn on the car ignition. He showed me that the gears should be in neutral (the middle part of the gears) and the handbrakes are up. All these are for security. Don’t forget to put the gears to neutral or else, he said, your car will jump when you turn it on.
Next, is how to turn on the machine by switching the key ignition. It was fairly easy. When you turn on the key, you click/enable the accessories first (lights, airconditioning) and then on the farthest click will the machine ignition. First time to do that, I was quite proud of myself. Finally, I can turn on a car ! ( well, actually, it’s a Revo).
Then, when the car was already turned on, he told me to press the brakes with my right feet. As my feet is on the break pedal, he told me to bring the handbreak down (disabling it since I am already pushing the brake). Now, time to put the gears from manual to 1st gear. But before doing that, I should press the clutch with my left feet. Pressing the clutch will allow you to “engage” the gears (that’s Papa’s term, engage). While both feet (left and right) are pressed on clutch and brake, I transferred gears from Neutral to First Gear. Then Papa told me to slowly release brake to make the car move forward.
I felt triumphant seeing the car move forward with me driving it for the first time! I felt the car gliding forward and wow, I thought I can really do this! Before pressing the brake and make the car stop, I still need to press clutch and then press brakes slowly. I still have to practice this smooth pressing of pedals because I think my feet are still too rigid. I need to be more relaxed and practice doing brake stops smoothly.
I got to drive the car back and forth, mind you on my first day of driving lesson! Papa was proud of me. Although I still have too many rice to eat, I was also happy that somehow I’ve scraped the top of the cheese in driving. Next lesson will be more practice of this driving back and forth, plus balancing the press of clutch and gas. I was distracted on the later part of our lesson because we transferred to an area which has a downward slope. There was also a car which parked in front of us and students who stayed near the back of the car. So it was time to pack up. We started 9 am and finished past 12 pm. We didn’t notice how time passed by.
Till my next lesson. Stay safe!