Daily Prompt – JusJoJan the 23rd, 2020 – Drive

It’s Thursday, and we’re back to our regular daily prompts, this one for the 23rd day of Just Jot it January 2020. Janet gave us our prompt word for today. Thanks so much, Janet! Please be sure to visit her blog to read her post and say hello. And follow her while you’re there!

Your prompt for JusJoJan January 23rd, 2020, is “drive.” Use the word “drive” any way you’d like. Have fun!

The first thing that came to mind when I read this prompt this morning, was my journey to learning how to drive.

As a child, my mother would drive us to and from school, and to do the shopping, but any other drives, long or short, were always undertaken by Pops.

Mum was always nervous to go further than the few local places she was familiar.

I couldn’t wait for that time when I would turn seventeen, and could legally get behind a wheel! I’d zoom around everywhere.

Well, that’s what I thought…

Seventeen came, and I was gifted driving lessons by my parents. It was extemely nerve wracking but I managed to move that huge car around the roads. Heck, I was driving!

Then came the test.

And guess who failed, because of a Coke can?

Me, that’s who!

I was reversing around a corner, and I spotted a can on the road, via my rearview mirror. Desperately trying hard not to drive over it, I manouvered away, and found myself in the middle of the road, rather than neatly by the side.

Yup, fail.

Second attempt – it was a few silly mistakes that caused me to fail.

Third attempt – you know, I just wasn’t ready…

Time came for me to leave home, and go to University. I wasn’t going to need a car here. Being so close to London meant the public transport was pretty good, and who wanted to pay exhorbitant parking prices?

Once I finally qualified, and decided to come back home, I realised that it was now or never. I had, by then, met Hubby Dearest, and we were engaged.

If I was getting married and moving to Kent, I needed to know how to drive, or face five hours in a coach, or three on a train, with various stops, to be able to visit my parents.

My mum encouraged me. “You can do it, Ritu, it only took me five attempts.”

Five? I was nearing that already with three fail certificates under my belt!

I had just over a year before the big day.

A new instructor was found, someone who taught my brother too (Younger, and yes, he passed before me on the FIRST time!)

And so, the lessons began. He was great, Ken, the driving instructor. He pulled no punches either.

It got to a few months before the wedding.

Ken: “I don’t think you’re ready yet…”

Me: “Why don’t I book my test for as late as possible, before the wedding? I have to try…”

Ken: “Er, okay…”

No, you’re thinking right. He wasn’t convinced!

Anyhow, I worked my butt off and three weeks before the wedding, I nervously sat at the Test Centre, waiting my turn.

The Examiner entered. Ken’s face dropped. But he said nothing, bar, “Just do your best.”

The test started. Vision test passed. And I pulled out of the Test Centre park. It all went well.

Until I shifted my gear from fourth to third, instead of fifth, on a dual carriage way.

Examiner: “Er, I think you might need to check your gears.”

Damn! Failed. I knew it.

We started to chat, and I began to relax because I knew I’d failed. Then, I did it again!

Another polite reminder from the Examiner.

We started to chat about general things, and the fact that I was getting married came up. I said that it would mean the world to have a licence, as I was moving so far away.

He asked where I was moving, and when I mentioned the location, in Kent, he told me that he used to live there. Small world!

Then he started asking about the wedding – knowing Sikh weddings are big affairs, and that generally, there is a great free bar at the party!

Before I knew it, he told me to pull up, and I realised we were outside the Test Centre again. Ken stood there, nervously looking out for us.

Examiner: “Now, I need to give you your feedback and results. I need you to look at me, and please, don’t smile.”

Me: “Er, okay.” (Does this guy even know who I am? Ritu, who is known for her smiles!)

Examiner: “Right, well, I am pleased to say that you have passed. I know you were nervous, but just take care with your gear changes. Otherwise, you did great!”

Me: [fighting the urge to smile] “Really? I passed? No!”

Examiner: “Yes, you have. Look at Ken’s face. I think he is sure we have bad news to give to him. It’s okay, he’s an old friend of mine. I love winding him up. Now, you have a wonderful wedding, and you can send the invitation to the wedding here!”

With a wink, he left me sitting in the car. Then turned to Ken with a stern look.

Ken rushed over. I handed him the paperwork.

Ken: ” You passed? I don’t believe it! No, I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that he’s the toughest examiner here. When I saw him, I was convinced it wasn’t going to go our way. In fact, he failed one of my pupils who was the best driver I had ever taught, and I have been teaching for a long time. Still, well done. I’m proud of you. Surprised, but proud.”

And with that, I was finally unleased, legally, on the roads!

I got a pretty awesome wedding present – the ability to get home whenever I wanted. And I even had a second hand car ready for me to take!

That was another bit of fun… the first time I drove on a motorway, was the three hour journey to take the car to my new home!

And there you have it, my journey to learning to drive!

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennie
    Jan 26, 2020 @ 21:08:20

    Great driving story, Ritu!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Jan 26, 2020 @ 19:57:14

    Thank you for this very lovely story, Sis! Wasnt it crazy, first time driving alone? Myself i had made so many plans. But after getting the license, i cant decide where to drive first. 😉 Michael

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Dan Antion
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 20:46:41

    That’s a great story, Ritu. Pretty soon, your kids will be driving soon

    Liked by 1 person


  4. scr4pl80
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 20:13:11

    Wonderful story, Ritu! I failed my test the first two times too but managed to hit it the third time. Love that the tester wanted to give Ken a bad time. I bet he kept you talking to relax you. Thanks for using my word today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  5. willowdot21
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 20:05:47

    Great story Ritu, I started to learn to drive at about 22yrs, it took eight tests and 11years to pass. Lol 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person


  6. revivedwriter
    Jan 23, 2020 @ 19:59:33

    Thank you for sharing, Ritu. I enjoyed reading your post, and it’s also encouraging to me because I don’t drive (yet).

    Liked by 1 person


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