Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Driving Miss Sunshine

Image source: Unknown
I finally did it!
I summoned all my courage, said my prayers and drove myself all the way to Lisbon and back.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Lisbon is around 40km from where I live and as any capital city of the world – traffic is insane!
Although I took lessons and my driver’s licence in Lisbon, I hadn’t come on my own yet and believe it or not I was missing the nagging co-pilot to tell me where to go.
The trouble with any big city is that besides the intense traffic, there are many lanes and places where you can’t turn. So even when I know where I want to go, I end up going round the long way because the road I normally take when walking has only one way, or has access denied from the road I’m coming from.
What made this trip easier is without a doubt my GPS!
It took me to roads which I’ve never gone through before and those I’d rather not have gone through… My only complaint is that in a few places he asked me to turn in a direction that was forbidden.
That along with roadworks make things a little more complicated.
Luckily a GPS knows how to reroute in these situations and others where fast lane changing made it impossible to turn exactly where it wanted me to.
I’ll share a secret with you – if you switch off the 3D visual, it makes it a lot easier to see exactly which turn off the GPS wants you to take, in the centre of town there are so many in such a short distance that it’s easy to pick the wrong one.
All in all, I made my rounds – found great parking spots and got home safely without a single scratch on the car.
I’ll admit – I got hooted at once and with just reason.
As I took a turn I looked in my mirror and didn’t see anyone so I changed lanes to the right – that’s when I got hooted at by a big bad Mercedes!
My only conclusion is that either they guy was in my blind angle or he came in so fast that I couldn’t see him coming in the mirror.
I can´t say that from now on i´ll be more comfortable going to Lisbon on my own – most likely i´ll still sweat buckets whilst chatting to my angel about what a good job he does keeping me out of trouble…
One thing is for sure, I’m much less hesitant to go on my own wherever necessary – provided my GPS comes with me.
I’m pretty diggity dang dong proud of myself!


Luis Sardinha said...

Congratulations, you had the advantage to take lessons in Lisbon but going to Lisbon with your license so fresh is something even the "nagging co-pilot" didn't.

Clairvoyant said...

I missed my driving instructor when I got my first car. I picked it up from the stand and as I drove out of it, a chill developed in my stomach. I had to force myself to remember what the old man told me often, I had a nearly perfect technic in mastering the car, what I lacked was confidence. It's probably what you lack too, and it won't come with time, only with practice.
I developed mine driving late at night, with little or no traffic many times at 2 or 3 am. It was instinct that pulled me to that choice, and it was the best I could have done. My car consumed buckets of gas while I got more experienced and confident in my driving skills, but it was worth it. With no traffic pressure, you learn to take your time in reading the signs correctly, knowing what your car can and can't do, and the chances of having an accident involving a third party are close to null. That's my advice to you.
My other advice is, keep a good humor while driving, even if you get hooted often. Smile and thank the other drivers. While in their own stupid manner, they are helping you to get in the rythm. Sometimes the best help you can get doesen't come from a friendly smiling face. It might even come from someone showing you the bird :)

Anonymous said...

Boa Carla! Parabéns! :)

Eu tb tirei a carta há pouco tempo e por incrivel que pareça nem desgosto de andar por lisboa, mesmo apesar do trânsito caótico que todos conhecem bem!

Concordo com o que disseram, o que é preciso é não nos deixarmos enervar pelo que os outros condutores dizem ou fazem... e cmo diz o ditado "Devagar se vai longe" e é mesmo com a prática que se ganha confiança e destreza na condução.
Lembro-me do meu instrutor me dizer que só quando estamos de fora e a observar os outros condutores é que nos apercebemos mts vezes do que nós próprios fazemos enquanto conduzimos, e falta de paciência é o que nao falta na maioria das pessoas que andam nas estradas! Por isso, mesmo com os outros condutores a pressionarem há que manter o sorriso! :)