Day Twenty-Two. Stick Shift.

April 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

On Day Twenty-Two, I learned to drive a stick shift, in the US. I had sort of driven a manual transmission car in the UK once before when my travel mate lost his contact lens and couldn’t see to drive properly. I stalled at a round-a-bout. I’d also attempted to move my aunt’s car out of a parallel parking spot after the traffic warden let me know we were parked illegally. I tried to shift into first gear several times, each attempt inching me back down the hill toward a parked car. My six year old cousin was crying in the backseat as I freaked out. Finally my aunt and other cousin came running out of the store laden with shopping bags, just before for the ticketing officer became wise to our ruse.

Driving a stick shift scared me.

It didn’t help thinking about the fondness Patrick held for his car, a lovely gray Volkswagen Jetta. I’ve jokingly asked for a lesson in the past, but he was always quite reluctant to let me take his vehicle out on public roads. Apparently being 29 has matured me, because he was actually the one who suggested the driving lesson.

Patrick drove us to the empty Value Village parking lot near our house. It was kind of a perfect place. There was a mass amount of space and crazy road lines where the old DMV course once lay. He parked the car and we traded places. Ever the rational man, Patrick calmly told me what I was to do, and in which order. My heart pounded and I tried to absorb all the information.

In lieu of a detailed description of the experience, here’s a video of our outing.

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