21 Sept, 2018.
My First Driving Experience
When I was 15 years old, I took a driving lesson with my elder brother. He was a professional driver, and because of that I really wanted him to teach me. Well not just because he was a professional driver. Some of my mates in school were already driving and I really wanted to be part of that group. He didn’t accept the request at first cause he thought I was not yet of age to be driving. But after weeks of pleading and begging he agreed to teach me. I was so happy for this, my mother not so much. However there is not too much that could stop a young enthusiastic boy.
Where I took the driving lessons was about thirty minutes away from our house. It was a big wide deserted field. My brother chooses that location because it was the closest place available for you to teach driving. Especially for someone my age who was just learning for the first time. My brother started teaching me on a Saturday, and that was because he’s mostly free during the weekends. He works in a telecommunication company.
The Saturday morning when my brother and I were about to leave the house, I can still remember how my mother was ranting all over the house. She said a lot of things that morning but what I can still clearly remember was when she said “Don’t let him drive today just show him the basics, I don’t want to hear something bad happened”. My brother quickly responded with a nod and told her not to worry. I was angry to hear that. I understand clearly that she was just simply concerned of my safety. But to me it just felt like she was over thinking the whole thing. During this period my father was away in Germany to visit one of my uncles.
When we set out for the driving lesson, I was so excited. I thought to myself this shouldn’t be difficult. It seemed funny because I was comparing driving scenes from movies to reality. But what I did not realize was that there was a lot involved in driving. It wasn’t just about moving the steering from left to write or by going fast. We got to the field and my brother parked right in the middle of this big field. He began the lesson by telling me that “the first time you take control of a vehicle can be an exciting as well as frightening experience”. He went on by saying “the first time you sit in the driver’s seat for the very first time, you might begin to feel overwhelmed with all the rules you have to remember”. He also emphasized a lot on calming my nerves. I should also rid myself of distractions, driving with distractions is never a good idea, particularly if you have never driven a vehicle before.
After about ten minutes of stressing the Need-to-know points about driving, he proceeded with showing me some car buttons and also identifying several functions. For example the fog lights, rear view mirrors, parking sensors, full beam headlights, hazard warning lights, child lock and so many others. Fifteen minutes passed and my brother told me to identify some of the functions, and I was able to identify each and every one of them. He was so impressed. I asked if I could take a try driving and he refused instantly. He said it was too early and promised to allow me drive the following weekend. I eagerly waited for this weekend. My God! It seemed like the longest weekend of my life. If it was possible to fast forward time I just one thought in mind throughout the week “to drive”.
As early as 5’o clock on Saturday morning I had waked up to do all my chores in the house. It’s tradition that you do all your chores before you could go out or do anything in our house. I had completed my chores, had my bath and was ready. My elder brother had just finished having his bath too. We were ready to go.
When we got to the field, we went through all the instructions and all other details that there was to know. We then switched seats. Sitting in the driver’s seat, sweat started trickling down my forehead, I was breathing so heavily joined with the thundering pounding in my chest, a feeling all too real, yet one that was necessary to fulfill my growing experience. As you mature, these memorable “First time experiences” come your way leaving permanent foot prints in your life.
This car felt like a truck. It just seemed too big to handle. It was my brother’s 2005 Toyota Highlander at the time, with an automatic transmission. He told me to calm down and just relax. Some minutes passed and I was ready to drive. I place the gear in drive and the car started moving, I hadn’t even stepped on the acceleration pedal yet. My brother glanced at me and saw an awkward look on my face. I told him I didn’t step on acceleration yet and the car was already moving and he replied “yes” he made it clear to me that you don’t really have to step on the acceleration before the car moves.
Everything was going fine until I got distracted and stepped on the acceleration pedal mistakenly, and the car went too fast around a corner and crashed into a huge pile of sand. Needless to say I got the car stuck. We had to call some passersby to come and help get the car out and people were looking from all over the place. I’m standing there feeling so bad of myself and the mess I just made because I thought I was never going to be allowed to drive again.
After several attempts they were successful in bringing the car out from the sand. My brother walked up to me and encouraged me to cheer up, and forget about the incident. He told me that “the fact that I failed today doesn’t mean am a terrible driver, it just shows that I still need to practice”.
Three months into 2014 I had gotten my driver’s license. I’m a better driver up till date. I can drive anywhere now without adult supervision.