akashathekitty (akashathekitty) wrote,

Using this icon before I lose it. :)

I should post more often. And I should pick one topic each time so it's not a jumbled mess of a post about a billion different things. So, what'll it be this time... hmm...

I think I'll go with cars/driving.

We've been looking at what kind of car to get and have decided that we'll definitely need a stationcar. And from looking at the biggest used car sites, we've decided that we're probably getting a Peugeot 206 of some kind, preferably a 2006 model, but 2005 will do as well. The reason why we've semi-decided on the make even before we've found the specific car we want is 1) there are so many 206s for sale and 2) it makes it easier to research the pros and cons when we don't have to do it for a dozen different makes. The 206 seems decent and economical.

[Learning how to drive teal deer]Theory lessons are going well. There was a mock test (that had been the final one year) last week, and Maz and I were the only ones that would have passed if it had been a real final test. I think I'm being seen as a bit of a swot, because this week there was a mock-mock test and one of the other women made a big deal out of trying to see my answers. >_> We're currently five people doing theory together, Maz as the only male, and there are two that I think may fail if they don't take more time to study on their own. But then, that's none of my business. It's their money and it won't affect my license, so...

Maz had possible food poisoning last time so he was just slumped in his chair for most of that session. Poor guy. But he was all right the next day. Still, I'm not sure how much he listened to the instructor. We should probably do a few tests together on the computer before the next lesson. Not that he truly needs it. He does just as well as I do while putting in less effort. I grumbled about it and he pointed out that it's because he learns it from me, because I point things out when we're out and about in traffic. I suppose that means I should take a fee from him. :P

We've each been out driving on the roads twice now. We go once a week for about an hour and a half. The instructor actually picks us up here (me first, Maz 1½ hours later) and then we drive around in the area. He says he doesn't have a real route up here, but he's had family up here and worked up here before, so he knows his way around to some extent. However, next time he'd like us to meet him downtown so we can try a more official route and city-driving.

Driving is in a way surprisingly easy, even though I'm a scaredy-cat about the simplest things. I don't think I'll kill anyone, at least. I've only really made two bigger mistakes. The first time out, I braked in a crossing when the light turned yellow and freaked the instructor out because the one behind us could've gotten surprised and rammed us. I was supposed to just continue. Haha, oops. The second time I could've hit a bicyclist that popped up out of nowhere after I'd checked mirrors and blind spot and was making a three-point turn at the end of a blind road. I don't know if I'd have hit the brakes in time, because he did it first over in his side. ;) He said he had no idea either where that bicyclist had come from, but that it wasn't when everything went to plan that accidents happened.

Fortunately there's a big SCHOOL CAR sign on top of the car, so you have to be a complete moron to not think "that driver sucks ass, I should give them a wide berth". And, indeed, those complete morons exist. The car got rammed during a test (okay, the sign isn't up during tests, because you're supposed to be competent at that time) last week, through no fault of the student. My instructor had just got the car back from the shop, so he was fairly angry about it. I can understand why. That car is his livelihood.

All in all, it's fun, though. And fortunately the instructor has a good sense of humour and laid-back disposition. People that don't take my wry jokes as just complaining. I can give you some examples...

INSTRUCTOR: *looks at Snuffles crawling towards us outside as Maz is preparing to take the kids to pre-school/nursery* Wow, look at him go!
ME: Yeah. Um. I'm not gonna start this thing until I'm sure Maz has him.
INSTRUCTOR: Fair enough.
ME: ...
ME: ... Okay, I know he wouldn't make it near us. But it freaks me out!
INSTRUCTOR: No rush. Whenever you're ready.

CAT: *crosses the road far, far in front of us as I'm driving very slowly*
ME: Shoo! Go away! I'm not hitting one of you!
INSTRUCTOR: I've never hit a cat, so I think it's actually fairly rare for it to happen.
ME: 300 killed!
ME: A day.
INSTRUCTOR: O.o That has to be in Europe or something...
ME: In Denmark. An estimated 70,000 cats a year.
INSTRUCTOR. :/ *has two cats himself*
ME: Yeah, so... shoo!
(Also, I later told him about a number one could call for free assistance whenever one came across an animal in need. He hadn't heard about that number, so he called it during class to hear what it was about, and apparently that's the only number you need to know now whether you hit a deer/pet that survives, think someone isn't caring for their pets, spot a dog in a car on a hot day, find a box of kittens, or whatever. They'll sort everything else out. They also offered him streamers he could give his students, so now all his students will be wiser. And he said he'd talk to his union about making it even more widely known, yay!)

ME: Argh! I hate traffic lights!
INSTRUCTOR: *makes me hit light after light after light*
INSTRUCTOR: ... Well, yes. And look at you, already more confident. ;)

INSTRUCTOR: I'm going to need you to take a right up there.
ME: ARGH, YOU EVIL, WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS-- I mean, yes, Mr Driving Instructor. Of course, Mr Driving Instructor.
INSTRUCTOR: That's the spirit! XD

ME: So, I did good apart from almost hitting that bicyclist, right?
INSTRUCTOR: Apart from that, you did fine, yeah.
ME: Oh, look, there she is again. I really don't like her.
INSTRUCTOR: She's certainly not in a rush, is she?
ME: Gawd, I hate her. Can I get a second go at running her over?

INSTRUCTOR: *points at lady with pram* We have one just like that. I regret it a bit because it's so small.
ME: Oh? Yeah, ours is very big. The oldest napped in it until he was three.
INSTRUCTOR: But this one can be turned into a pushcart, and that's nice.
ME: I avoided those because they said they were less safe.
ME: Because you snap the parts on and off so easily.
INSTRUCTOR: Ahh... Now stop on the side of that car up ahead, I'm going to have you back up behind it and do a parallel parking.
INSTRUCTOR: Well, that would be fine by me... ;)

So that's working out okay. Apparently I talk more to the instructor than Maz does. IDK. I do talk a lot, I suppose. Especially when I'm trying not to be anxious. And the instructor is easy to talk to and tries to get me to focus on whatever I do well. It seems from what I hear that he may be a bit more critical of Maz, but then, Maz can more easily take it without getting nervous. I prefer it if I'm the one that's pointing out what I'm doing wrong, which is also why it may seem like I focus too much on the bad stuff.

Bonus: I talked to my mother about looking at cars online...

MOTHER: So, how many horse powers does it have?
ME: Um... 75.
ME: I know, I know. Don't give Maz any ideas, he'd also rather have more. But this one's up for sale really close by!
MOTHER: I'll say. I also prefer a car with some oomph.
ME: But it gets more mileage!
MOTHER: I'm sure it does. If it ever actually manages to go anywhere.
ME: -_-
MOTHER: But, hey, if you want a granny car, that's up to you!
Tags: anecdotes, driving, family, mazvn
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