I am such a klutz that I have been injured, on several occasions, just doing nothing – such as having my laptop fall on my foot in the midst of a conference call, walking into the laundry post (and having a resulting Harry-Potterish wound on my forehead), running into a wall…
And the list goes on.
Which is why I had put off learning to drive for the most of my life.
Having been born and bred in Singapore there wasn’t a need for me to do so; the transportation facilities are darn freaking good, reliable and cheaper than most of the other places I have been, and it is so easy to get around the tiny city state. A bus ride doesn’t cost more than SGD$2 (£1) if payment is by a stored value fare card, and cab rides are affordable (we were ranked 20th cheapest in the world in 2017). Trains generally run on time (yes, they aren’t perfect, but I can live with that!) and are cheap as well and so, I relied heavily on public transport when I was back home. And if I had time I would commute about on my Brompton and I felt super safe doing so (Singapore has one of the best roads in the world!)
My reliance on public transportation and biking was also because cars in Singapore cost one of the highest in the world (which unfairly creates the perception that we are one of the most expensive cities to live in – we aren’t, really!) The island is just so small and such pricing does help control to some extent the vehicle population here.
So there really wasn’t a need for me to do so. Until now.
We moved to the UK in January this year and are currently staying in a beautiful village in the East Midlands, with a population of slightly more than 200 residents. There are no stores here – I get my groceries weekly through shopping sites like Ocado and Sainsbury’s. If I run out of essentials there is good ol’ Amazon. So I am still able to get stuff.
But there have been so many times when things just suddenly run out, and my husband or his dad are not around to drive me to the store in the next village, which is about 12 km away.
I am totally stuck here. There are no taxis that cruise about on the village streets, and they cost a bomb to ride. There is a bus service that connects us to two other villages but they run thrice a day, and I have to phone them to make sure they come to pick me up. There are no trains (the neighbours have horses and cows though, but I am pretty sure they won’t take too kindly to me riding them to get my shopping done.)
There also isn’t a pub in our village – the poor husband has had to always be on driving duty and not drink, so he can ferry us to and fro when we go out for meals and gatherings. So poor thing…
So I have bitten the bullet and am now taking driving lessons.
But… but… I AM TERRIFIED OF DRIVING.
As mentioned, I can’t even walk about without risk of injury to myself; my legs are full of scars from bike falls, and now, I AM MANEUVERING A TIN BOX THAT CAREENS AT AT LEAST 30MPH AND CAN KILL OTHER PEOPLE!
I don’t get how some people can eat/ talk/ SMS/ PUT THEIR MAKEUP ON while driving – there is so much to look at, to pay attention to, to avoid (OMERGAWD I SWEAR … THE NUMBER OF IDIOTIC PEDESTRIANS WHO CROSS THE DARN ROADS WITHOUT LOOKING, AND DOGS. AND RANDOM CHILDREN.)
Needless to say I am struggling with the whole thing and am super stressed about it all. It’s not just me that I feel bad about -I feel for my instructor – I think I have caused quite a few strands of his hair to fall out….
So if ever you have the misfortune of encountering me on the roads, I apologise in advance to you for holding up traffic – my confidence stalls at 30mph.
As does the car sometimes as well.