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Gobbles Musings

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About this blog

This shall be a place for everything I have to tell someone or some sort of diary. I tried to write a diary several times, but writing just for me seems useless. Current topic is my drivers license and a future one will be getting my dog which I need the license for. (Now you know my biggest motivation.)

Entries in this blog

 

When your body tells you to slow down

Like I wrote in my status update, I got sick on Friday evening. A really horrible cold. Because my immune system does not do well at all when I'm stressed and the whole drivers license thing makes me incredibly stressed. I got not one, but two cold sores inside my lips on Tuesday. My upper lip is still twice the size of normal. The last time I had more than one cold sore at the same time was over ten years ago. (Also in a very stressful situation.)  I'm going to class tonight and next week Monday (Thursday is a holiday) too, but no driving next week. I need to get better first.  This will be so incredibly embarrassing with my lip looking like a failed beauty operation and my social anxiety when it comes to young people. Living in an Asian country right now would be great. Being able to wear a mask to hide it all. (That reminds me, that I need to tell my instructor, that I'm not going to do the lessons with other students he usually does at the end before the final exam. I can't drive with teenagers sitting behind me. I couldn't care less about old people though.) So, next week is more normal life. I need to support my Mum at work at the end of the week and we have a meeting with the new nursing service for my great uncle. The old one goes out of service in July.  At least that shows everyone in real life that it really is hard for me doing this. I'm not telling lies.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Questioning my ability?

Wednesday, 16.05.2018 - Lesson 14 We drove almost the same route as Monday. He said we are now practising more situations I have problems with. In my case narrow roads and driving on the right side in situations like that. I'm too much in the middle because I'm afraid of hitting parked cars on the side. Lots of priority-to-the-right rule (according to Google this is the proper word) situations. Not a problem in automatic cars, but I struggle a bit with going down into 1st, driving slowly into the crossroads and then going back up to 2nd and continue and that in those streets every couple of meters. On a normal road switching into the different gears works okay. 1 to 3 at least, 4 to 6 is a bit difficult. (I haven't used 6 yet, I think we can do that only on the Autobahn when there is not too much traffic.) Next lesson next week. He said we are going into the down town. Everyone I know hates driving into the city. So I'm a bit worried. (At least this is not in the exam area but he said I should be able to drive there anyway. Thursday, 17.05.2018 - Theoretic lesson 11 (of 14) I had to think about the situation in the US with police controls a lot before this lesson. I knew that the topics included the lights on a car, driving through a tunnel, cars with special lights (ambulance, police, heavy transport....) and how you should act in a police control. Thing is we used like 70 minutes of the 90 in total for the lights. And the teacher is so good that he can make lights and their use a really interesting topic. I have never seen someone speaking so passionately about really boring topics. And he does this since 30 years. Police control came last and took like three minutes. Slow down, drive to the side, open your window, talk to the officer, say you did not drink if they ask (and do not drink & drive!!!!!! ), hand over your papers from the glove compartment and that's it. I guess in the US you should learn about the danger of being shot in a situation like that if you happen to have the wrong skin colour and move without someone telling you too.  I think you have to have your hands on the steering wheel and what not. Different worlds I guess.  *** Other than that I'm still worried about being able to do this. Driving slowly feels more normal, but I still lack the "I can do this"-feeling. My Grandpa asked how driving is going and I couldn't answer because I have no idea how I'm doing. Even though my instructor compliments me in certain situations during the lesson. Like every time we cross the tram railway. I cross it and next to me he goes "that is how you look, well done!". So I must be doing at least something right.  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Monday, 14.05.2018

Guess which idiot hurt her left little toe Monday morning? Yep, me! After the initial shock, I put ice and tape on it and the neighbouring toe. Walking hurts but thankfully not stepping on the pedal for the coupling. I tried that out as soon as I finished taking care of it. (But I informed my instructor about it anyway. But driving painless is possible.  I then had my lesson and it went well with the toe. It didn't hurt at all, in fact driving is better than walking! We went into the neighbour town and did the usual things. Adding another part that I need for the final exam, "verkehrsgerechtes Wenden" - turning appropriately for traffic conditions. I reversed parked the car three times perfectly without help. But he was not pleased with my handling of the coupling and starting to drive. He said that I did it so well and perfectly in the beginning. I have no idea what happened and why I stopped doing it that way. He told me to concentrate a bit more on that. He wanted to do a lesson today (Tuesday) as well, but I'm mentally done with two lessons per week, so I decided to have my next one on Wednesday. Last week I had three lessons and that was a bit too much. In theory we discussed how to park properly. As you can imagine Germany has rules on everything, and parking too. We do not have a lot of parking space, so those rules do make sense. How much space to leave on bus stops, junctions, rail ways... Using ticket machines and the parking disc. Enough to fill 90 minutes. Parking is a huge problem in our area here, there is simply not enough parking space. We do not have mega parking lots like the US. The politic concentrates more on public transport.  By the way, it slowly feels more "normal" to sit in a car and drive. Still so surreal, but better. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

In the previous episode...

I already wrote a bit about it in status updates. Took me a while to figure out that I could actually use a blog instead. So here are the previous updates in chronological order, starting with the oldest. FYI: I use the date format I'm used to, DD-MM-YYYY. Just the original updates, no comments to keep it simple. 03.04.2018 (#0) So I just signed up for my first driving lesson. (Ten years later than normal, but I just needed some time and develop my self esteem first. Now I feel ready.) 17.04.2018 (#1) 1.) Had my third lesson today. Lesson one was just the basics, but also a short trip on nearby roads in heavy traffic. Lesson two was a round trip trough nearby villages/small towns. Roads my mum hates to drive on because of the people, traffic, tram... I killed the engine a lot and had to hold back my tears during the last kilometres. My teacher said that it wasn't bad at all, but as a perfectionist I was so disappointed. Once we were back I broke down crying next to him. Yay me. Lesson three was today and much much better. He said that it was really good for the third lesson. Killed the engine only once. Lots of right of way situations today. Driving slowly into a crossing and so on. I asked him what he did with his pedals and he said basically nothing. I did all driving by myself. So far my fastest was 60 km/h. We weren't on any roads where you can drive faster. 2.) Theoretical lessons are kind of boring. With 27 and lots of years sitting next to my Mum while driving and talking about rules/traffic there is not much to learn. Finished three as well, 11 more to go. 3.) I envy everyone who drives automatic, but I will conquer the stick.  26.04.2018 (#2) Had my 7th lesson yesterday (30 lessons is the average norm here, for comparison) and I did pretty good. My teacher praised me.  I parallel parked the car backwards (a huge point in the exam, you can't get your license if you fail that), lots of right-of-way situations and rail ways. I did good with the stick this time. Slowly I get that feeling when to change into a higher gear. (But I have trouble going down before traffic lights, so I mainly drive in the 3rd until I reach it and go down to 1st then.) Next theoretical lesson is tonight. Number 6 of 14. (I have to know the answer to over 1000 questions and the exam later will be 30 multiple choice and video questions out of them. My learning app says I'm 93% ready.) On Sunday I have a first aid course (necessary for getting the license) and next week the eye test, but I wear glasses anyway so I get that written into my license for sure that I have to wear glasses to drive. 29.04.2018 (#3) I survived my first aid course. With the help of my mother who was with me as my helper. I did some exercises in a extra room, so not in front of the others. The whole thing was seven hours long with a break of 30 minutes.  Next lesson (#8) is tomorrow and the next theoretical lesson as well. When tomorrow is over I'm halfway through my theoretical lessons. Yay!  Not sure if I can squeeze in lesson #9 next week as well. Tuesday is a holiday (Workers Day) and on Thursday I have my eye test and work plus the next theoretical lesson in the evening. But I'm so so so glad that I survived today. On Friday I plan to hand in my application to the authorities. It takes a few weeks for them the check it and then I'm allowed to do my exam if I have my lessons ready. If they approve the thing, every offence I make could result in a year ban or something like that. Like driving without license, doing drugs, anything like that. (Not that I do that, but it suddenly feels more real when you have that back in your mind.) 04.05.2018 (#4) Here we go again. I think this is going to be a weekly thing now.  1.) Had two lessons this week. Lots of parking. And we added a new thing, in German it is called "Gefahrenbremsung" and since a few years part of the final exam. It is basically emergency braking. I have to drive 30km/h, look in the rear mirror to make sure nobody is behind me and when my instructor gives the command I have to hit the brakes with full force. That is a fun thing to do. I think this will be the best part of the exam. I wasn't too happy with the lessons, but I guess it is because he basically throws every problem you can hit on the road at me. I do quite good on roads outside of the city/village, but those small roads inside are a challenge. I even missed a traffic light. (It was green, but he asked me afterwards if I noticed it. Oops.) 2.) Yesterday I did my eye test and because I already have glasses it was clear that I need to wear them when driving and this will be written into my license. Not a big deal.  3.) On Monday I hit the peak of the mountain with my theoretical lessons. Lesson 7 of 14. Yesterday was #8. So I should be done with them in early June. (With Pentecost coming up there will be some holidays and that means no lessons.) Next week more lessons and we have an appointment to give my application to the authorities.   08.05.2018 (#4.5) I just need to write it down. Lesson on Monday was pure hell, felt like driving for the first time, or worse than that. Just finished my lesson for today, one of the five required drives outside of cities and it went very well. And here is the thing: Tomorrow I will be driving on the Autobahn for the first time!  09.05.2018 (#5) 1.) Like I already said, the lesson on Monday was shit. There is not other word to describe it. He took me in a housing are with tiny one way streets and it sort of was all too much. A little old lady was walking ON the street (we have superb side walks, no need for walking on the street) and I had to drive past her three times. And a lot of other problems. My instructor said that it is normal to kinda break down and drive like an idiot at least once, so I'm fine, but it was a horrible day and a cried a lot because I was so disappointed.  2.) On Tuesday he said that to make it a bit easier we would be driving on country roads and this was also the first of the required 12 lessons by law. That went pretty good. And it was fun. 3.) Today around 9am we had an appointment at the town hall to hand in the application for a drivers licence. Once they have checked me over (criminal records,...) they approve it, and I can make my final exam if I'm ready. The lady was really nice and told me that I am at an excellent driving school. Her daughters were there too! (Not the first time I heard that!) 4.) And later I had my first lesson on the Autobahn. To be honest my instructor did most of the driving, explaining me things and so on. He "scolded" me in a nice way for looking to much while driving in the highway. We had to cut the lesson short because his wife was waiting for him with lunch but we just add that bit on another lesson. The fastest we went was 100km/h because there was a lot of traffic and obviously I'm a beginner. Next lesson on Monday.  *** As a special surprise I have added a picture of the car I'm driving (I edited the logo of my driving school out):  

Gobbles

Gobbles

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