Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Addictions - Part 4: driving

When I turned 16, all I could think of (besides boys) was to put money aside so I could go back to Rio de Janeiro as soon as I could.  I had spent a month there 2 years prior and only wanted to go back as soon as I could (finally went back 15 years after - story to be told in a different blog post).  I was working part-time making $6 an hour in a kids' clothing store with no commission and baby-sitting a lot as well for even less money.  Saving up was hard to do.  (What do you know?  History repeats itself because it's still hard to do!)  My dad, on the other hand, had other plans for me.  He wanted me to take my driver's license classes.

Yuk.  I could not care less.  My mom was driving me everywhere I wanted to! :o)  Of course, Papa a raison, I ended up taking my classes.  We had theory classes for nearly 20 hours  which led to an official written exam in governmental offices.  Then, with my apprentice's permit in hand, I was authorized to take the actual driving lessons and/or drive with someone who had their driver's license.  I succeeded at the written exam the first time around.

My dad would take me driving in the industrial park on week-ends so that I would be able to practice without fearing traffic.  I think he was always comfortable with my driving because I took after him.  Except for parallel parking.  People laugh when I talk about how stressed out I am when I have to parallel park and I have a passenger in my car.  These people have obviously never tried to park with my dad in the car.  It's a story so famous that it's even a running gag.  My dad loves his white walls.  He used to shine them every Friday afternoon during the summertime and these fine white lines could not be scratched.  Try to picture adolescent me, learning how to drive, with my dad by my side telling me : "Watch the tires.  Careful!  Watch the tires.  Not so close.  STOP!"  When you see danger and you look at it, where do you think you end up?  Boom.  Sidewalk.  "Sorry, dad".

Then came the time to pass my road test.  My dad's friend, a retired cop, had become a road test instructor for the government (SAAQ).  He took me for a three-hour drive one afternoon and took me through all the tough areas where the instructor whom would eventually take me on the road for my test would most likely take me.  "Watch the yellow line when you take this curve.  The road tends to pull you towards it; make sure you stay within your lane.  At a stop sign, stop ON THE LINE.  Not a foot before and not an inch after.  This street is two-ways on this end, but one-way only starting here.  The instructor is going to watch if you see the signs and try to have you go the wrong way into a one-way street.  Watch for it."  I was given all the pointers!  On the day of my exam, the man had been instructed to pass me, unless I literally failed to respect safety laws. But I didn't and hurray for me, I got my driver's license!

I have been driving ever since.  My mom's car at first and then I bought my first (used) car when before I turned 19.  I discovered a passion for driving.  I love to go over the speed limit.  My cruising speed?  145 km/hr.  But that was before April 2009 when, in Quebec, they doubled speeding ticket fees and demerit points.  I am not afraid of driving at 145 km/hr on the highway however; I fear having to cut back on everything in my budget to be able to afford a speeding ticket.  Since then, I have been respecting speed limits very diligently :o(

I don't mind a 6-7 hour drive.  I love it, in fact.  As long as I know I have my cell phone and my iPod, I am good to hit the road!  My name is MissIPP and I am addicted to driving!


  1. Great post :) Hopefully that will be me come end of August! I need to get over this fear!!!

  2. @ Macbella2: Thank you. I was thinking about YOU when I wrote it, I swear! I hope you'll really enjoy this liberating experience. More independance... in a metal box.

  3. I love driving fast, too...bought my first car at the end of February, and it has a bit of spunk! Got my first speeding ticket in the mail last week, though, from a red-light camera...that's a habit that'll get expensive fast. So I'm with you on the behaving part!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  4. @ Shayla: Sir Lancelot! I'm sure he's much more fun than my Coco. LOL. But I got her for one $pecial rea$on. We'll see when her lease is up... in 2 years :o( We must behave. Sometimes.