My knuckles are turning white; I am as frightened as I can be. With
beads of sweat dripping down my temple, I clench the steering wheel with
both hands, as tight as I can, so that when I do hit a bump on the road,
I won’t loose the slightest bit of control of the wheel. I glance at the
rear view mirror with every blink, just in case some crazy motorbike
comes zooming from the sides. A curb . . . and I stop.
The light signal’s on and I try to glance at the piece of paper the
examiner has. From the corner of my eyes, I saw him scribble something
on it. I wonder what that was.
“Stop, stop, I can’t think about that, I need to concentrate,
concentrate. Creative visualization! Breathe deep! Look!” I tell myself
and blow down a breath of air.
I shouldn’t sigh, I don’t want him to see me stressed, I think to
As cars blitz by, I think of the first written test I flunked, the
second I ‘aced’ with the greatest difficulty and lastly this crappy day
where I spent 9 hours just waiting for my turn to get in the drivers
seat and get my license. So much for ‘no pain no gain!’
A girl whose turn was just before mine flunked 3 minutes of driving,
because she stopped too close to a stationary vehicle. I can’t fail,
I’ll have to pay so much to do this all over again, the classes, the
time, the effort and energy.
“Can you please park right there,” he said pointing with his blue pen to
the pavement lined with a yellow fence.
Time is up I thought, I better do this right. Let’s focus. I said to
myself. I parked the vehicle and he said nothing. He wrote something
more. Two diagonally lines he drew across the page, one crossing over my
black and white picture.
My hands trembled and my heart pounced. “Pass” he wrote in between the
line. And gosh what a relief that was!
“Next” he said turning to the back seat. My tutor sat there, and I could
see it in his face, he expected me to do better, because he knew I
could, but I passed it and that’s what mattered to me then.
After driving around town and sometimes out station, without my license,
it was time to do it, legally!
But looking back at it all, what a mission it was from the start.
Hailing from a country where women are forbidden to drive, knowing
nothing of the workings of a car, and in the midst of struggling to get
myself settled into the culture and custom of a country. I am supposed
to call home this by far a HUGE task for me.
It was all too exciting in the beginning, the prospect of having a
license with my pic on it, qualifying me to drive around town where and
when I wanted. And in what I wanted. Going for classes at the beginning
was just fine, until I could no longer make it in time. That was because
work and other classes took up most of my time and with the lack of a
time-table for my driving classes, I was literally stuck. They couldn’t
bend the rules and I had to make it to classes in time or else the van
Bad state of affairs!
But I guess that’s why I felt I had accomplished all the more, when I
did eventually get my license.