A week ago, N.’s mum bought herself a new car and gave us her old one. So we are finally car owners. It’s a small 2005 Nissan Micra, and we hope it will last us a few more years. It will be so handy to be able to quickly nip to Asda or to the beach. While we live in a suburb of Edinburgh, and have very good public transport, depending where you go, the car can be so much quicker.
The only problem is that N. doesn’t have his driving license (yet), and while I have had one for 13 years, I never got much driving practice and in fact haven’t driven a car in the past 10 years at all.
We knew we would be getting the car for a while, but we didn’t know for sure when we would, so when we got it on Monday, I signed myself up for some refresher driving lessons.
Luckily I have lived in the UK for nearly two years now so driving on the left side of the road doesn’t throw me anymore (actually, I get confused whenever we go to Germany now), but it was just starting driving again in general that I wasn’t too confident about. Plus driving in another country with slightly different rules and signs … I just wanted some help to get back into driving and to become more confident too.
This morning (hooray for four-day work weeks!) I had my first driving lesson. It went well. In some ways better than I was expecting, but driving just felt so alien to me. It almost felt like I was starting completely from scratch again in some ways, while I remembered some other things pretty well.
And then there was that one moment, when I found myself on the right side of the road, which is of course the wrong side of the road here! Even when my driving instructor told me “you’re on the wrong side of the road” I didn’t get it right away. Oops. Luckily we were in a pretty quiet area, so no harm done! It didn’t happen again after that. Just goes to show how easy it is to go back to something that has been deeply ingrained for almost all your life.
I will take a few more lessons until I feel confident enough to go out on my own, and until I become a little more experienced again at the basics. At the moment nothing feels like a routine, from shifting gears and indicating to remembering to check the mirrors.
Being able to drive somewhere when we want to will come in so handy though, especially now that we are planning our wedding. We have been looking at venues and have been depending on N.’s mum to drive us quite a bit. It will be wonderful to be more independent and flexible.