Around August last year, in response to one of my then-not-infrequent bouts of handwringing but-what-shall-I-doery, a friend and sometime mentor of sorts suggested that I should get my license, buy a kombi and go on a road trip around the country. I wasn’t sure about the roadtrip or the kombi, but the learning-to-drive idea seemed a good one. The hassles of getting around Melbourne on public transport sealed the deal; I got my Ls in February and have started taking lessons.
I had my third proper session out on the road yesterday. It’s very weird. I wonder to what extent it feels weird because of my age (28). Unsurprisingly, all of VicRoads‘ learner driver promo material is leveled squarely at a teen demographic.
In some ways it’s much easier than I’d expected, in some ways a lot harder. I’m starting to feel more comfortable on the roads but I still have great difficulty assimilating all the information you have to process simultaneously. Successfully co-ordinating the accelerator and the clutch is also proving a challenge. I stalled three times yesterday. I half wonder if I shouldn’t just learn on an automatic. But I’m jaundiced by my mother’s consistent assertion that they’re “not real cars”.
My instructor is this rather stern and incredibly worldweary old French guy called Moshe. He spends a disconcerting amount of time during our lessons playing with his Treo, but he’s always on hand to grab the steering wheel when I’m just about to kill a cyclist or slam on the breaks before I plough into the back of a police van. I like him.