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Joy Ride


They say if you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere in the world. Wrong! If you drive in India you cannot drive in any developed country. For one, in India you keep on driving unmindful of the red lights, lanes, pedestrians, double lines and after a point of time honking, overtaking become part of your reflexes. Checking those reflexes is what is difficult now for me in a country where driving, pretty much like everything else, is so rule driven.

This is not to say I have not driven here before my classes. I have been on the roads a few times and was nervous as hell thinking if I was on the right lane or speeding correctly. So I got myself listed on Kerry's classes to learn a few road rules and get my Australian license. Silly when I know what the rules are now being chauffeured by the husband at all times. Let's just say I have too much time on my hands!

Kerry is a funny man. He looks disheveled all the time, comes unshaven but in a suit and parks his RACV car outside my house, adjusts the L sign on the car before he takes me on a drive where he suffocates me with stories about his life. My 'how are you' is always greeted with a 'not too good' as he shows me his diary where he has a minimum of 8 classes per day.

Once on the road, he shows me a few things such as how to park and three-point turns and then says let's get out on the traffic. It is a 45-minute class where for the next 30 min, I am driving and he is talking. The talks are nothing to do with driving. It stems from his cat, his many girlfriends to his love for Greek food and music.

Five lessons already and it is the same story each class. Kerry says my car control is ten out of ten. Of course it would be, I know how to drive. But I still do not know if I have to indicate when I am doing a three-point turn or stop if there is no STOP sign on a T point because some places have them and some don't. When I go for my license, what are the areas instructors fail learners in? For now Kerry does not seem too bothered. He tells me 'keep driving straight until I tell you to turn'. Most often he does not because his tales do not end. And then on a red light, he suddenly spurts from his seat and tells me I did not do a head check (holy shit). So few more lessons.

When your life is packed with to-do’s, there is not much choice but enjoy being taken for a joy ride!

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