Coming This Fall: Driving Miss Crazy

View from the road: Puigpunyent in the fall

View from the road: Puigpunyent in the fall

Once upon a time, in one of my very first posts, I think I mentioned that I was planning to learn how to drive stick. You see, back in the good old U.S., one usually learns to drive with an automatic vehicle. In fact, most Americans drive automatic vehicles for all or most of their lives, I think. Only a select few cool and interesting types dare to drive mechanic because they think it’s more fun, plus mechanic vehicles are cheaper. Smart, foreseeing bastards. Anyway, I planned to learn, but seven months and then some later, I’m only now just getting started.

Back in San Francisco, hubbie taught me how to drive stick and I actually got the hang of it after a few practice sessions. The trouble was my nerves. They got the better of me every time. So anytime I’d reach a stop sign, or a slight incline (or a humongous one, as are common in the City by the Bay), or came within the same vicinity of one or two other cars, I’d freeze up and my brain would shut down rendering me borderline catatonic. So, I gave up and put off learning ever since. This was about eight years ago btw.

And when hubbie moved out to Mallorca ahead of me to set things up, he couldn’t find a decent automatic vehicle within our price range, so I said “No problem. Get a stick. I’ll just have to learn.” HA! Like I said, that was more than seven months ago and here I am, finally resolved to get this torture over with. You see, here in the E.U. most folks drive mechanic. And here too, mechanic vehicles can be as much as three to five thousand euros cheaper. “But still, Andrea, why now?” you may ask. Well, it’s just hard to get around Mallorca without a car. Public transportation isn’t as frequent or reliable as you might find in Barcelona or any major metropolitan city in Europe, my hubbie always needs our car for work and I want some freedom for crying out loud. So, I’ve got my eyes set on getting a little something for myself to tool around in, but in the interest of living fiscally responsibly, not to mention getting over my ridiculous fear, I’m biting the bullet.

Don’t get too excited yet. I’ve only had three practice sessions. But I drove on the road, in traffic, with stop signs and everything and haven’t crashed yet. Soon I’ll be conquering those roundabout thingies. So all in all, a good start I think.

Wish me luck!


5 thoughts on “Coming This Fall: Driving Miss Crazy

  1. You can do it! I drove a stick in SF up until I bought my highlander in 2007. The hills left me catatonic as well and let me tell you, I wanted a bumper sticker that said, “get off my ass, I’m driving a stick.” People would pull up right behind me and I still can’t believe I never rolled backwards into anyone. However, I think I burnt the crap out of my clutch as I revved the engine and kept the clutch down until I thought my car was going to blow up.

  2. Pingback: I Still Can’t Believe We’re Doing This: An Expat Year in Review | lostinspainblog

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