On The Road…Again
ON the road… again
I’m not so sure you’re meant to take long hiatuses when you’re learning to drive. Then again, I was never one for conventionality.
I first did the dreaded theory test when I turned 18. I wasn’t confident about it, I was cocky. I didn’t even open the book until three days before the test, convinced I knew everything there was to know about driving. I mean, most of it was common sense anyway, right?
Wrong. It turns out there was a lot you needed to know before you even sat into a car. To pass, you needed 35. I got 22.
Shaken, I decided to take a leaf out of the local hurling team’s book. When they lost a county final a few years back, they didn’t let it stop them. They continued training, and brought the cup back home two years later.
I got the CD rather than the book (I walked into the test not knowing what it would look like at all) and started actually doing questions and answers. I watched as my friends got their learners permit, then their full license. I promised myself that I’d do it too.
Another rookie mistake I made was to tell everyone I was doing the test. I mean EVERYONE. Friends, cousins, even the guys I met in the park the week before it. The teasing began about three hours after I told people it hadn’t happened the first time. This time, I was much cleverer. Only my parents knew what I was doing on that day in mid July.
When I applied for the second test last year, two of my younger cousins had too. If I failed and they didn’t, I would never hear the end of it. There were now so many things spurring me on, I had to do it. Mostly for me.
Then, almost two years to the day after the first attempt, I revisited the scene of the crime. I was now 20 years old, a little wiser and had spent the months after college broke up completing countless practice theory tests on the CD. The book came with me for some last minute revision. I was ready.
This time, I wasn’t taking no for an answer. I was going to get that illusive 40.
Or 39. That would do too.
Photos credited to allenfordparts.com