Monday, 21 October 2013

Notes on turning 27 and not having a license.

Or, adulthood, you are doing it wrong.

Next month I turn 28, and in a reflective moment, I realize I have accomplished a lot in the last year. Most notable and perhaps shocking to all who know me, I finally got a drivers license.

Yep. Until 3 months ago, I couldn't drive. Most people hear that and think I am joking. But Im not, and I don't think it is that crazy. Is it?

In NZ you can start learning when you are 15. And at 15 Mum and Dad thought it was too early. I wasn't that bothered.
At 16 I had no interest in driving.

At 17 my grandmother bought me a road code and learners L signs. And I half arse read the book but forgot about it.

For the next few years I was at uni, and didn't have the money for a car or gas so it wasn't important to me.

I nearly didn't get an intern job at 22 cos of the license issue, so I started casually learning in a work truck. But that didn't really interest me.

In Perth we lived 400 m from work, and there was an excellent public transport system. So I didnt really feel the need.

Then we got the news of a transfer to the States, and the stupidity of putting off the license process started getting to me. So I started lessons. And then I got busy with the move and the weddings. So I think I did a total of 4 lessons.

Why was I putting it off you ask? Was it pure laziness? Fear? A rebel way of sticking it to the oil business? I don't know.  More than likely it was a combination of factors. That, and I remember my Dad teaching Mum how to drive our manual car. The therapy from that experince is still on going.

It's not that I didn't want a license. I hated that we didn't have such a basic level of independence. And I hated explaining it to people. And feeling embarassed. But the longer I put it off the more scared I became to try and get it. Look at the idiots on the road. It wasn't whether I could drive safe, cos what is stopping some idiot hitting me.

So instead of learning in Pukekohe, at 17, where there are NO traffic lights, and about 10 000 people, I ended up learning in a city with a total popultion of the whole of New Zealand, with high ways that can reach up to 14 lanes across. Oh, and they drive on the other side of the road.

I had three lessons with our driving instructor, who was like, a saint. I was so wound up when we did our first lesson.
Albert said to me "What is something you are really good at?"
Rob answered, "she is an amazing cook"
Albert said, "what do you like to cook?"
Rob said "she makes a great roast chicken"
and Albert said to me "The first time you cooked it, I bet it didn't turn out well but you practiced and now it is great. That is how you have to look at driving."

And I replied, "But chickens can't kill you". And burst into tears.

Fast forward to a few weeks later, when I sat and mysteriously passed my license test in August. I hopped out of the car and jumped up and down like a maniac. A completely liberating and exciting feeling swept over me.

"Shit. I can go and buy Maccas when I am hungover now".

Yep. I am an adult and I have a drivers license. Go me.
Taking care of business. 

Tigger. Our wee beast. He is a car that is large at home, but here he is tiny!


  1. Ah congrats!!!! You might be on to something... When I Iearned how to drive at 16 I was a fearless teen. You'll be responsible!

    1. haha thanks, it is nice to hear that people don't think Im bonkers :P

  2. Congrats and big ups dealing with driving on the other side and dealing with more lanes that what you'd find on a dual carriageway motorway in NZ. I think that would be another challenge given the increased number of vehicles. I do miss our drives hurling abuse and tooting the horn at idiot drivers and pedestrians in Hamilton. Have had a few close calls. It sounds like you had some good support when learning. When I was learning I had my 2 younger brothers in the back laughing and jeering as I stalled the manual car think my record was 14 times in a row at the lights on an incline in Whangarei. I got to the point where i was like "screw this you do it", and handed it back to Mum to drive. Oh and that time I parked a little too far into the garden at Pak N'Save and adorned the front of the car with agapanthas. Or the times bunny hopping through the supermarket or the time I was lucky to miss a granny crossing in the car park (that's not meant to sound like i go around running over grannies - I've never hit anyone). But when my brothers were learning and making some of the same mistakes, did I give them crap for it? No. I think who sits in the back makes a difference when you're learning.

    1. Lol, when I read this at work today Renee, I literally laughed so loud that someone came to see if I was alright. I could just picture you and your brothers lol. Little buggers! It is a bloody relief to have it all sorted now I must say!


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