I have a 14 year old...she is about to turn 15. Normally, in the US this would mean we are preparing for the driving permit. She would have a book and be studying just waiting for that 15th birthday when she can get that little permit in her hands. However, living in a foreign country where you cannot drive until 18 she knows this won't be happening. The subject comes up every now and again and so that got me thinking about when I learned to drive. It was all pretty comical really...
I didn't actually start driving until right after or right before my 17th birthday, I think...I don't remember exactly when I just know it took me a while. When I turned 15 I was gung-ho about driving and got my driving permit shortly after turning 15. However, the first time I went out with my mom she yelled at me for driving too close to the side of the road. The 3rd time my dad took me out he took me around so I had to drive up the only hill in all of Jacksonville, FL. Of course this was at like 6 or 7 in the evening so there was traffic, so I had to stop at the stop sign. Then someone rolled up behind me. Close. I was in a manual car...which I still stalled out...often. After much yelling, me almost hitting the woman behind me, my dad wound up driving home because I was so paralyzed by fear. I still hate hills to this day.
After that I didn't drive again...for a while...like months and months. So, my 16th birthday comes and goes and I am still catching a ride from people. Well, summer going into my 11th grade year a friend says I NEED to get my license. So, coming home from the mall he has me drive his car. I didn't want to but he insisted it would be fine and promised to tell me when to go at the horrible four way stop by the mall. Wouldn't you know he says, "GO" I go, next thing I hear, "STOP!" ...and we got hit....by a woman who was in a "rage" and had completely blacked out. Awful. I never wanted to drive again.
Well, a month or so later my 11th grade school year starts, my BFF is still driving me to school and I talked to my counselor and decided to graduate from high school a year early. This means I need to take classes at the local college. Mom was not happy about taking me to college. Kind of laughable right. I was told I had to get my license. Mom couldn't teach me, Dad couldn't teach me so that left my brother. He was very relaxed pretty much let me drive how I wanted and so I did it.
My 17th birthday comes around and my dad takes me to the DMV. I ran a red light on my way there. Dad was not happy. Not sure what all I did wrong but it had something to do with me not putting my seat belt on fast enough, not turning the lights on quick enough, and I could have possibly done a U-Turn after being told I missed a turn during the test. So, I failed. Miserably. Go to another DMV...I failed again. No license for me that day. 17 and couldn't drive.
A few weeks later I go take the test again...I finally passed.
I drove around what my friends and I coined the "brown turd"-a 1986 Pontiac-T1000..Hatchback. Had a lot of fun in that old car...couldn't keep a stereo to save its life, but had a lot of fun..even when I used a battery operated mini boombox for my musical entertainment! ha!
After reliving all these hysterical experiences it is no wonder I don't like to drive and much prefer my walking/biking/transit using lifestyle!
So, how do you get around? What was your first car?