Monday, May 17, 2010

Psstt...

It was almost as bad as this (EXAGERRATION- but there was only 50 kPa)
~pic googled~

One small step for mankind, one GIANT leap for me! Today, I filled my own tyres for the first time, EVER. Thankfully the girls noticed that I had a flat (I thought everyone had put on weight or something..ahaha).

Granted, I haven't been driving for all that long (only just over 2 years), although my driving licence is almost 13 years old, but even this smallest of acts feels like a real accomplishment.

Even though I successfully passed my driving test after my SPM, I could not drive until almost 10 years later. It used to be a standing joke amongst my friends, with one of my colleagues quipping "Hidayah, why is it you can insert a chest tube into another human being and yet you can't take the wheel of a car?".

Thinking back, it wasn't that I did not want to drive. I hated being incapacitated by my inability to commandeer a four-wheeled vehicle (I can ride a bicycle ok!). I also hated to impose on others, or beg for rides. In the end, I always felt as if I was missing something.

The thing is, I am terrified of the way OTHER people drive. Cutting into lanes without signalling, never giving way, running red lights and the never ending traffic jams synonymous with big city life. I had been involved in a major accident once during my teen years, on the twisted roads of Bentong-Raub with a heavy downpour raining down around us. We nearly went over the edge of the cliff, and my fear of driving had solidified since.

Two years ago, necessity overcame fear. There was no-one else around to chauffer my kids to their nursery. So reluctantly and slowly I learnt to conquer the road.


Almost, just not as picturesque
~pic googled~

During those early weeks and months, anything that could have happened to me and my car did.
  • One day when I was driving home, suddenly all the lights started flashing and the car alarm sounded at full blast. I was, in all aspects , as loud as a fire truck and flashing more lights than an ambulance. Undaunted, I drove my car straight to a nearby service centre and handed my car keys to the mechanic while calmly saying "Can you help me? I think there is something wrong with it." (Understatement of the year)
  • Another morning while attempting to find a parking space at UKM (always an ardous task), I kept going forward only to find myself face to face with a huge cow! I didn't notice that they had sectioned off that area for the Hari Raya Qurban sacrificing activity. So I had to reverse all the way back and in my clumsy efforts to turn (it was only my second day behind the wheel), I managed to make my front left tyre jump the little ledge at the edge of the road. Thus I found myself and a quarter of my yellow Gen 2, resting precariously 2 cm away from a large storm drain. In the end, all the men who were supposed to be busy with the cows, had to come and rescue me! I was so embarassed but strangely enough, I did not panic or cry.
  • Once, on the way back from lunch with a good friend, while I was in the outermost lane, I noticed that when I hit the accelerator, instead of going faster, the car speedometer kept going slower. Thank goodness for common sense, I slowly made my way to the slowest lane and came to a full stop by the side of the road. Made a call to my auto assist (thankfully I had their number on my windscreen), and hitched a ride home with a very nice tow-truck operator.

My first car

These are only a few of the adventures I had with my first car. With my Stream, it's more a case of being a magnet. For some reason, everybody likes to hit me. I've been rear-ended three times, each time I was just minding my own businees at a traffic light. Plus have had two motorcyclist run into my left side, each time they were coming out of intersections at high speed when they had no business doing so.


My Honda Stream RSZ- great for all our Jalan2 Cari Makan adventures

Despite all of this, I still love to drive. Each day behind the wheel is an exhilirating experience and reminds me how fortunate I am to be able to drive. There is this immense sense of freedom. Plus, I count every little thing as a victory , managing to side/reverse park, turning into a busy intersection successfully , navigating to places I have never been, mundane things everyone else probably take for granted. Yup, I love the open road. I just wish OTHER people could be more considerate on the roads.



3 comments:

syura said...

weeeee. cool car! seriuosly

syura said...

seriously
hehe

Hidayah Ismawi said...

syura: thanks syura.. I like it alot too.. especially since it can fit everyone for all our LUNCH trips .. hehe

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