We were all sitting around Paulaner celebrating Oktoberfest (again) when the driver declared that he couldn’t drive yet. My girlfriends happily volunteered my driving services to which I squeaked with much alarm because I couldn’t even remember the last time I drove. My driving license said 2003 but I’m pretty sure it’s been about 5 years since I decided to give up driving coz I couldn’t handle the stress of it. But with much encouragement, I climbed into the driver’s seat. I buckled in, adjusted the rear view mirror, and with much direction from Aaron (the car owner), I stepped on the brake (the brake is the one on the left?), released hand brake, move the car into Drive, released brake and OFF WE GO!
As the car inched forward painstakingly and I freaked out again, WHERE IS THE EXIT! WHERE IS THE EXIT! for we had just inched out of the lot. the people behind were tickled as Aaron said rather matter-of-factly, left. then right. then slow down. then exit infront of you. then we were inching out of Marina Square car park and OFF WE GO! except that I thought we had exited towards Singapore Flyer when I belatedly realised we were on the other side of the road and was headed north instead.
“OMG! THAT’S WESTIN! I KNOW WHERE WE ARE!” I shrieked excitedly. everyone in the car had this “uh..” moment of hesitation. it’s not too late to throw me out of the car I guess.
So we did 4 destinations today. Firstly Bukit Batok to drop Tiny off. I know my way to the expressway but behind the wheel, I turned into a total idiot. “Do I stay on this lane? Do I turn now? NOW? WHAT?” Someone was once amazed by the fact that for a person who didn’t drive, I knew my way around roads pretty okay. well not today! Aaron was there to calm me down coz as I drove, my voice got higher and higher. when I had to turn, he helped me flick the signal.
slowly I gained confidence. I learnt to change lane gradually and not the sharp hook turn noob drivers tend to do. after changing lane and turning about 10 times, they didn’t have to remind me to check blind spot. I moved from crawling at 40km/hr to going at 100km/hr along the near empty expressway. the conversation was peppered with my frequent outbursts of “AND THEN???” followed by calm instructions on my left. By the time I dropped Bryan off at Jurong West, I was pretty confident of what I was doing. I even overtook a weekend car. Who proceeded to overtake me a few metres later. Assholes.
Aaron turned on his mp3 player and he played the song Debbie Gibson didn’t sing. I started singing along and almost turned the wheel as I swayed to the music. Must. Learn. Not. To. Move. Wheel. While. Singing. I think they were amused coz I was concentrating on the road so hard that I wasn’t paying attention to my terrible singing. But it’s really fun cruising down the expressway while singing along to 80s music. we went from Debbie Gibson to Belinda Carlise to Wang Chun. then there was that heart breaking moment where the lights turned amber and instead of just shooting across the junction (I was 20 metres from it), I hit the brakes. Evonne’s face almost hit the back of the passenger seat despite being buckled in. I guess that definitely sobered everyone up in the car. (don’t worry, I was the most sober before I even got into the car).
When we reached Woodlands, both my arms were numb from gripping the wheel so tightly. I had to take a break at the foot of my friend’s apartment and have a stick. we squatted by the curb as she laughed at my excitement at having made it so far. I apologised for the brake slamming moment coz I saw the look of OMGWTFBBQ on her face right after it happened. she felt kinda sheepish but she was very encouraging. she said that I should practice more and it’s good i’m doing now since the roads were almost empty at 3am.
And then back into the car I climbed and we made our way back home. I slowed down as I turned into the driveway of my apartment. I stopped the car at security and hit the button which opened the passenger window instead of the driver’s. I was laughing so hard at my error that the security guard couldn’t hear me say “dropping off”. or perhaps he was confused that I said, “I’m dropping off” when it’s usually the passenger who gets off the car. I was still laughing when I got out of the car to let Aaron take over.
So all in all, we all made it home in one piece. I did EVERYTHING a noob driver did;
- signal left then right then left in quick succession coz I couldn’t get the stupid signal to stop.
- driving with hazard light on for a few metres before realising.
- turning like a female Daytona driver (thanks Bryan for pointing that out).
- turning on the windscreen wipers when I wanted to turn right.
- slamming brake for no reason.
- forgetting to check blind spot.
- veering off my lane into another while singing.
- filtering sharply.
- opening the wrong window.
- hitting my hand on the dashboard as I got out of the car.
I proudly proclaimed that driving was like sex! once you’ve done it, you don’t forget how to do it again! I must practice more! Gambatte!!