I got the Oman driving license in November which was already announced from the rooftops, I can almost hear it still echoing from the mountains. My trainer bid me goodbye, his role handed down to the guy who had been trying to speak louder than me since 2008– my husband ;-)
I must admit I miss my trainer.
Trainers in car driving are the ones whose jobs, by any means is no less hazardous than that of a suicide bomber. They have to focus, be patient, behave, teach and stay alive at the same time, not necessarily in that order. To achieve the staying alive part, one may forego at least one of the expected skill set – patience. My trainer’s voice and the subsequent reverberations can actually cause an accelerator to push on its own. However every time I had to be blamed. How mean is that?
Car training sessions are also the times one is expected to cry internally. The guy terrorized me to such an extent, that even tears were scared and shut themselves in. I held on to the steering wheel like one would hold on to a piece of slab just before falling off a 17 floor building. The suspense thriller may make one sit at the edge of the seat, but if I did that, there would have been more reverberations which could have resulted in opening a dam of tears.
My trainer taught me during the office lunch break, which was coincidentally his lunch break too. I’d have my lunch only after the session, which meant that I’d be dying from starvation during the session. However, my trainer prefers on-the-go lunches and juice. Which is chicken shewerma wraps with mayonnaise and salad. Drooling was not allowed. This means I had to stop two types of fluids from erupting 1.Tears 2.Saliva. I should also be alert and set my eyes on the road and play the traffic signs book and roundabout rules in the background. There are no prizes for guessing who gets paid at the end of this session.
|Image Courtesy: Here|
However when the vacancy of a trainer was occupied by the husband, I did not expect that things could turn around for worse. This time I dint have to worry about stopping tears. It has been my strongest weapon since 1932. Now I have to keep my eyes on the road, focus, reach the destination alive AND talk back. I mean how is this expected from me? A little chat with my friends revealed the shocking fact that all husbands go crazy when women drive. I fail to understand this overreaction, because we do not get paranoid if they don’t move even a single muscle when yelled at or even if something is thrown at them when there is cricket on the TV. The situation is in control because I stopped listening a long time ago. I can feel the drama inside the car but can’t take it serious enough. This is a guy who cannot notice a change in hairdo or a dashing new dress but can pass a comment about the strand of eyebrow hair on the carpet.
The real challenge while driving in Oman is the basement parking in our building. Parking here is like taking a driving test every single day of my life, because 1. Basement is really dark and creepy 2. The lines between which we are expected to park = total width of the car.3. After lines there are pillars to ensure that we pay for our mistakes. Guess what, the husband makes me reverse park there. This is exactly like going to the labor room and telling the doctor that this procedure is not painful enough, I want to do it in a way I can actually feel it. The silver lining is that there is a reverse sensor, which has kept me sane since the whole ordeal started. I cannot even begin to think of the times people drove without reverse sensors. How is one supposed to see what is behind the car, when managing whatever is in front of the car itself is so hard?
It has been three months, the pillars are fine, and the car has survived some scratches. The building maintenance guys maintain that it is not ‘dark’ it is called ‘ambience’. The scratches stand testimony to the days I reverse parked in this snake and ladder maze.
And in life, you cannot escape the lines. You will end up reading or parking between them.