I just want to put the fact that my mum is an excellent manual car driver and that my dad taught her, before anything else. It’s not really what I am going to talk about but it was at the front of my mind.
A few months ago my dad thought it would be cool for me to go to driving school, since I was done with campus and didn’t have a job yet anyway. I immediately jumped to the offer, I had initially wanted to learn how to drive in my S.6 vacation but then I got a job and wasn’t able to. Thinking back, that job actually occupied all my time during the vacation that I don’t think I did anything with my friends (but that’s a story for another day).
Moving on, I made my way to the driving school, got an instructor and started my lessons. The lessons were actually okay, I was learning with an automatic car, and although I got yelled at a few times for being too fast or not turning right or that one timed I almost knocked a pedestrian (I promise I didn’t mean to :)) , I picked up really quickly.
Two weeks in, my dad wanted an update of how the lessons were going and I was more than happy to say I had definitely learnt something. The most interesting part about the conversation was when he asked whether I had learnt to balance (manual people get it) and I quickly responded no. Balance an automatic car?
It was then that I realized that when he said I should go and learn how to drive, he meant that I should be learning with a manual car. He promptly asked, “Who goes to driving school to learn how to drive an automatic car?”
Anyway, I then switched to manual, and I have to say that driving that car was a hustle. Between changing the gears, knowing when to change the gears, one can’t drive with one gear for too long, I could not keep up(One has to be very focused and alert). I actually learnt the basics of how to drive the manual car faster than I did with the automatic (weird..I know..) but committing to learn how to balance and the patience to really learn, was what I didn’t have.
With time, however, I became okay. I could drive around our home area with guidance of course, from my dad and brother and I must say they were much more patient with me that the driving school people. Am also happy to say that I don’t suck as much as I used to, but I don’t know if I could actually buy a manual car yet. Maybe in a few years, we’ll see.
Advice to newbie manual car drivers, drive with someone. It’s always nice and encouraging to drive with someone so that they help out with the gears and the balancing.
Hugs and Hearts,