Archive for January, 2009

Day 4,5: Chicken

A friend asked me why I didn’t write about Day 4. I guess I didn’t because I was still processing what had happened (don’t worry, not an accident) and part of me really didn’t want to admit that I was having trouble with this. Anyway, the lesson wasn’t bad, I mean, to learn something you have to be challenged, so yesterday was like that for me, a pretty big challenge. 

To explain, let me tell you why I didn’t learn to drive when I was younger and still at school. I started off with lessons, my mom teaching me, and I got the grasp of the basics pretty quickly, but the first day she took me on a main road (Zero Point), I choked and ended up causing a huge traffic jam, and the traffic cop pulled me over and told me and my mom off for letting me drive without proper instruction. The combination of my fear of accidents (and killing someone), and the incessant honking behind me is a recipe for disaster when I’m behind the wheels, so Day 4 was all about that. I had to go through a couple of intersections, and my feet would not press at the right time and time and time again the instructor had to take over. 
Today was different. Mostly because I’m a chicken. Every morning we have a choice of the order we drive in. There’s four students, and we drive all the way to E-11 and back, so there is enough time for everyone to get 10 minutes at the wheel. Every stretch, however, has different intersections/round abouts etc, with the first being the easiest (just left turns), and the last being the most difficult (2 intersections). Yesterday, in order to learn something new, I took the last stretch, and I should have faced my fear and done the same today, but chicken that I am, I took the first stretch, something I already drove two days ago, which means I didn’t learn much at all. Chicken. 
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January 20, 2009 at 4:05 am Leave a comment

Day 3: I’m a learner, you idiot!!

Day 3 was by far much more exciting then both previous days put together – we were on an actual road!! 

We started off from the F-9 Park, I drove all the way from there to Margallah Road, and then to F-11, from where the other students took over and drove us back. I was pretty good, if I may say so. Scared at intersections, but hit 60 km and third gear (!!) and didn’t get told off or anything. The girl who started after me was also pretty good, as was the last student in our class. 
The aunty (number 3 in line) was a bit unformtunate though. First she couldn’t understand how to put the car in gear (yesterday’s lesson aunty!!) so kept getting this wrong and was finally told off! Then she couldn’t get the car to start, and finally could NOT understand how to go from first to second gear. Huff! It was embarassing sitting in the car while she was getting scolded, but even more scary when she DID get the car rolling and kept taking erratic turns right and left, driving the car in both lanes simultaneously, and those who understand my fear of car accidents will get how TOTALLY freaked out I was! Dying in a car accident while learning how to drive a car is not how I want to go! 
The only irritating thing today was the other drivers on the road. I mean, you can see the big red L all over the car, as well as the sign on top stating that it’s a driving school car, so STOP with the honking you ass!! Everytime we slowed down, the car behind us would start honking, essentially confusing us even more! 
Anyway, the best part of the lesson wasn’t the actual lesson but the lesson I got afterwards. To brief you first, I am driven to my lesson by my dad, but then take a cab back home. So I hailed a cab, and got in. This really old uncle was driving, and boy was he chatty! Once he learnt I was a learner driver, he had all kinds of tips for me; stay in your lane, use the indicator, don’t use your cell phone, which were quite useful, albeit stuff I already knew. He didn’t believe in seatbelts, and was very happy with the Islamabad Traffic Police since he said ” I once saw them cut a ticket for an Army General for not stopping behind the white line.” He used to be a construction worker in Dubai, where he drove trucks, and then when he hit 60 they sent him back home so he’s been a taxi driver since 2002, which makes him in the late 60s. Cool guy, deserved a tip, which he got, for all the tips he gave me 🙂 
Ciao.

January 17, 2009 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

Day 2: Are you dizzy yet?

Today was Day 2 of driving lessons, and what a confidence boosting day it was 🙂 

As is customary in my house, I was there fifteen minutes early (my dad is a stickler for punctuality) and had to wait for the lesson to start in the car (my dad drops me off) since it was raining. Yes, it’s raining in Islamabad, again! 
Anyway, my dad gave me a mini-lesson in the car while I waited, which meant that when I actually got into the learner’s car to drive, I kinda kicked ass! We drove around and around and around in a circle in this big empty ground that’s used for lessons, so basically I started the car, drove in a circle, and stopped fifteen minutes later as there’s four people in my class, including me, and we each get fifteen minutes of driving time. Essentially, I waited fifteen minutes for a fifteen minute class :/ Still, I kicked ass, so I came home happy. Tomorrow we’re driving on the road. Watch out Islamabad (or at least everyone in the F-9 Park vicinity). 

January 16, 2009 at 6:07 am Leave a comment

Cat Proximity

January 15, 2009 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

P.O.W.E.R

So today was the first day of driving school. As excited as I was, I was confident it was going to be a major bummer (I mean, it is school!) but I was not completely let down, and not just because of what I learnt about cars (although that’s cool too!)

Firstly, I’m going to the Islamabad Traffic Police’s driving school, and apparently their motto is “Friendly Police”, which, I must say, they are. However, this also means going to the behemoth of a structure (or collection of buildings) that is the F-8 ITP HQ, and then finding out that my class will be in a tiny room, where they stuff in 40 aunties, with no ventilation. Eugh
I was also scared I’d be the oldest (eldest?) person there, but no no. As my aunty comment might have made it obvious, I’m by far one of the youngest, with the average age being 40! So the questions that get asked “what is the round thing with the N on it” (answer: umm..gear) are hilarious, and provide for much entertainment. 
Since today was day numero uno, we had to give our contact information, learners permits, NIC copies and the like. Mostly administrative stuff, yet, it took us 1.5 hours to get everything done. You ask why? Well, women are known for being late, and this is Pakistan. One lady actually walked in 50 minutes after “class” had started (we start at 10, she came around 11), and wandered in nonchalantly. 
The other reason is that this is not AIESEC, so there are no processes in place for things like dividing a room into two classes, subdividing into groups, having people sign up for classes. So essentially, the two teachers went through every single person individually thrice. First to check we were there, then to get our documents, and finally to get our contact numbers and ask us which time slot we wanted. It took all my self-control not to give my opinion on how to best manage the situation.
Anyway, I did learnt a few things. Firstly that every time I get in the car, I should check the P.O.W.E.R (Petrol, Oil, Water, Electric, Rubber) and that under the hood are the ABCDEF, but I no longer remember what the D stands for. Haha!
All in all, cool first day. No making a fool of myself yet, but tomorrow I get behind the wheel, so that should be something to watch out for.

January 15, 2009 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

First 100 minutes…

January 15, 2009 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

Hilarious Beer Ads

January 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

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