Saturday, October 10, 2009

Driving Camp

Tomorrow my mum is coming to Wellington to pick me up and drive me and the kids back to her place. I'm going to the quiet streets of Waikanae for (probably) a week to learn how to drive.

Yes that's right. I'm learning to drive. Some people might be thinking, you don't know how to drive? And the answer is, NO. Some might be thinking, FINALLY!

I have a learners license, but I actually don't have any driving skills. To illustrate, my father-in-law took me for a lesson once, and at the end said something like "That was really great! Now we just need to work on your starting and stopping, turning, speed control, indicating, awareness and confidence." He was being nice.

So this week, I'm going out to where the roads are wider, the traffic is slower and more sparse, and I know which street ends up where and what's along the way. Where I did most of my growing up.

Wish me luck! I'm going to build up my basic driving skills and confidence out there in my parents automatic, then come back in to town and learn how to drive our manual with my father-in-law, who will also teach me the harder things like hill starts and parallel parking. Teaching to drive seems to be a fatherly thing to do, because my mum has said for the most part she'll be the babysitter while my dad takes me to learn.

I remember going with Dad, Erika and her friend when they two were learning to drive from Dad. I went mostly so that I could sit in the back seat and laugh at them when they made mistakes and freaked out about it. Then one day Dad got me to have a turn. I got to the end of a culdesac that had cars parked in it and got so nervous. Dad was urging me on telling me I could do it. I was so wound up I just got out of the car so that Dad had to come back and take over. Eventually my sister and her friend got good enough at driving that the lessons weren't so much fun for me anymore, and I would just fall asleep in the back seat.

Here's hoping I can make that progression this week, from entertainment worth staying up for to everyday skills so boring that they put someone to sleep.


  1. Good luck Mariah! I don't drive either, but I have a similar plan in terms of Automatic first! I'm sure you'll be great, plus Waikanae has lots of quiet streets where no one is there to see you make mistakes. Good luck!

  2. Best of luck! I do have to say, though, that I found it very interesting in New Zealand how many people don't drive. I guess because in America most people get their licenses before they graduate from high school. I actually didn't get mine until after my first year of college, but I was an anomaly.

  3. My dad did most of the teaching but my mom was the one who made me drive on the freeway for the first time. There was a lot of merging and enormous trucks and honking horns. But I was never afraid to drive after that.

    You're going to be great. Just drive with conviction.