The first time I … drove abroad
I took to driving abroad like a duck2water.
When I went on a camping holiday in France last year I was not looking forward to driving abroad. Worries of going the wrong way around roundabouts, driving up the wrong lane of les autoroutes and hitting baguette carrying pedestrians haunted my mind in the run up to the trip. Before I even hit French soil there was the question of whether my M-reg Micra would make it up the steep slope to the ferry.
However, the worry was all for nothing. Despite minor navigation troubles, I sailed along the French roads with ease and came back with the car, and my pride, still safely intact.
How do you find driving abroad?
[Image © nafmo via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence]
The first time I… tried to teach someone to drive
When you're not a driving instructor, teaching someone to drive is pretty difficult and is not really something you take to like a duck2water!
My girlfriend asked for some help learning to drive. She had only had one lesson so I half-expected the worst. I took her to an old airfield a few miles from home because she had not yet driven on any public roads.
We swapped seats and then, funnily enough, everything kicked off.
"Try to ease the clutch up gently and match the revs as the clutch begins to bite, " I said. I may as well have been speaking Swahili. We kangaroo hopped along one of the airfield roads for about 25 metres.
Remember, this was my car. "Stop," I yelled. That was a mistake… yelling, that is.
"Don't shout at me," she said.
"But you'll damage the car."
"Well, there's no need to shout," she said firmly.
She tried again. We set off ok - for about five metres - and then the kangaroo hopping kicked in for the second time.
"Look, you're doing it wrong," I said.
"Your car isn't like the driving instructor's," she responded.
"Let's just keep practising."
Eventually, after many minutes of sheer exasperation, anxiety and even terror, my girlfriend managed to drive about a hundred metres - but steering and gear-changing was a nightmare. We gave up after about half-an-hour before our relationship became irreversibly strained.
I'll never forget trying to teach her to drive. My stress levels just kept on rising as I tried desperately to somehow transmit telepathically to her how to drive. I now have plenty of respect for driving instructors who manage to work through this stage of the 'learning to drive' process!
At least, there aren't too many dogs learning to drive cars on the road - things could get really mad then as this video shows:
The first time I... went through a carwash
I took to the car wash like a duck2water.
Despite great trepidation, my first experience driving through a car wash was actually quite positive. Although I did get shouted at for putting the handbrake on and leaving my aerial up, my car and I came out unscathed despite my fear of getting smashed to pieces by the giant rollers or getting drowned by the colossal water jets.
I came out the other side with a clean and shiny car and a slight sense of pride in my small act of bravery. I recommend the multi coloured foam just for amusement's sake and the jet wash for a satisfying eradication of ingrained dirt.
And finally, watch how not to go through a car wash.
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