Today I went for a ride with my dad. The difference is that today I was driving. And he was on the passenger's seat. The last thing I wanted in the world was to have my dad sitting next to me in a car while I'm driving. He can get so nervous, and start yelling me directions that I am not sure I understand! I wish my instructors can tell me what to expect in the road, and how to do stuff; not just do it!
Since I don't really have another car, or a close friend with a car to help me driving on weekends or free afternoons, and I REALLY want to learn how to drive before my 1st test on July 15th, 2012; I asked my dad if he wanted to come with me to the Thrift Store to dump some old clothes that had barely been used and that I know I wont use anymore, and also told him if I could drive. He said it was alright. So after an early lunch snack (which probably my dad thought it was his last meal before having me behind the wheel) off we went to a short drive from my house in E 56th Ave @ Prince Albert St to Fraser St @ E 43th Ave. About 14 blocks away.
When we were in the car, I quickly remembered what my manual said. Check the mirrors. Adjust them. Adjust your seat. Your foot is supposed to touch the back wall of the pedals. Your seat must be slightly higher than your head. Seatbelts on. We were ready. For a second I forgot how to turn on the car. The keys, of course. You put the keys in, then turn it and the car is on. So many things to think about when you are THIS stressed! Specially since my neurotic father was right next to me.
To my surprise, he was very calm. He directed me what to do, commented on possible hazards (which is extremely helpful) and didn't freak out. He did yell sometimes when I was too much on the right, or I wasn't turning very well. My biggest challenge in driving, I think, it's knowing how big the car is, so I would get on the sidewalk as I am turning because I don't know or can't tell how far away the car is. Also, another challenge is turning the wheel. I am not yet familiarized with how much the wheel turns, so what I think it's enough it's not really, and backwards.
I hope I have more chances to practice. I am saving to buy a [used] car next February. But some friends tell me that I should wait til I can afford a new car. That it would be better for my insurance and for maintenance (getting it fixed can be VERY expensive in here!). So I am still thinking about my possibilities. What I DO know is that I don't want to ride the bus forever. So many weirdos to deal with!!!