Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I have finally reached a milestone in my driving skills - to do a perfect reverse and parallel park. I remembered when I first got my own car a few months back, I would shudder and get cold feet at the mere thought of not finding an 'easy park' lot, and would end up having to do reverse parking, or parallel parking, and have a long line of vehicles behind me waiting! That was horrdendously scary.

Every time I go to crowded shopping malls, I pray fervently for a nice parking space where I just have to manouvre the car head on into the parking space - fuss free, no hassle. Because of my fear of reverse parking or parallel parking, I have, more often than not, gave up parking spaces and end up circling the area for ages before I come across another one that I deem suitable.

But being in a city like Kuala Lumpur hardens you, it makes you face your fears boldly and take them on, it dares you. After seeing the smirk on faces of the people in vehicles who were waiting for me to park properly and not obstruct traffic, I decided that I had better do something about it.

I am proud to say that I'm now a certified reverse and parallel parker! Makes you wonder how I managed to pass my driving test eh? But yes, it took me 2 tries before I passed - but only for the "on the road driving" bit. I cleared the parking bits first time round. But it was easy then. The instructor will give tips like how many turns of the steering wheel that is required, to count the poles and whatnot. But who's counting the number of turns you make on the steering wheel when you're trying to park in a dingy parking space in KL? And there ain't no poles for me to count and hence make my judgements either!

Quoted from an article in the papers today - "If men are from Mars, women are from a planet where they don't have roundabouts...". Speaking of roundabouts, I am also proud to say that I've also conquered my fears and problems in navigating around the circular junction.

According to research, the article noted that women get panicky when entering or leaving a roundabout and this sex are usually the ones who end up with accidents at roundabouts. The reason being that they hover too long and finally going at the wrong moment usually because of impatient male tailgaters.

"Women tend to be in more accidents at slower speeds, where cars are close together, while men have more high-speed accidents"... and this I daren't deny for yours truly has been in a couple of such cases. I remembered scraping the sides of a divider in a parking lot which resulted in the bumper of the Kancil being dislocated. I almost pissed in my pants because the car was not mine! Thankfully a genius mechanic drilled a hole somewhere, attached a gigantic screw underneath and voila! It looks perfect! (Psst. It only cost me RM5 too!)

Then of course, the recent 3 car pile-up where yours truly was squashed between a tough Volvo and a Proton Saga - in a traffic jam *chuckles* OK, squashed isn't exactly the scenario of course, just had dislocated and dented front and back bumpers that's all.

But after much grief and panic because of parkings, roundabouts and accidents, I hope that I've now matured into a better driver, and here's to a worry-free driving year to all women out there! *grins*

Posted by Doreen at 4:25 pm