Sunday, 21 February 2016

Episode D: Driving

I have a confession to make. 

I'm 27 going on 28 and I still haven't passed my driving test. Well, I can drive. Just illegally. Not that I tell anyone this. 

I grew up in central London, like Zone 1 London, which meant that there was a bus home no matter what part of London I found myself in. I could walk to Selfridges and Oxford Street within 20-30minutes. Regent's Park, the Zoo and Primrose Hill were a stone throw's away. I was 16 and thought my life was pretty amazing. There was no need to drive. Congestion Charge of £10 per day put me off. None of my friends knew how to drive. And as for traffic in central London - I mean, have you seen it? 

At 18, I packed my bags off to university and suddenly I had a bunch of friends that either had their own cars and been driving around forever, or had got bitten by the driver's bug and were taking lessons. Now that I lived away from the hustle and bustle of central London, I could see how useful a car meant. It meant a safe ride home from a night out with a designated driver. It meant getting home in 5 minutes from the station rather. It also was crucial for those 2am shopping trips to ASDA. 

So, I found a driving instructor at uni and started some lessons. God, that was scary. The first time behind a wheel was a really bizarre experience. I always called shotgun and sat in the front passenger seat where I had control of the music. Did my theory test, did my lessons. Then money ran out so lessons were put on hold temporarily. Uni studies and life got in the way and I never really returned. 

Take 2 was back in London. My brother had passed his test and recommended his instructor so I gave that a go. Well if someone I knew had passed with one instructor and recommended them, it made sense to try them out. So I did. I started from pretty much where I left off - turns out driving is kinda like riding a bicycle, once you learn, you never really forget it. Learnt how to do a 3 point turn. Parallel parked. Bay parking. Easy! Only problem was that my theory had expired so I had to do it again. Booked the test in - and as luck would have had it, it snowed. Proper snowed in London. Again, life got in the way, and I never really got round to booking the test in.

So here I am. 

Round 3. 

I got some driving lessons vouchers for Christmas, so I've already called up to book some in. Yes, the theory has since expired, so it's on my list of things to do this month. I no longer live in the bright lights of central London and it's all too clear how useful a car is out in the suburbs. Because I've been putting off driving for such a crazy amount of time, Dad has promised me a car to entice me - and I have to say, it's kinda working! Any recommendations for a first car once I do pass? 

But first, let me call up to book this theory test in. AGAIN. 

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