I first got my California drivers license 32 years ago. I passed the written test with flying colors because my papa provided me with a review booklet. I almost failed the actual driving test thanks to my dear husband who advised me to cross several lanes which scared the wits out of the DMV test officer. Thank God she sensed that I was an experienced driver and not a neophyte driver so she gave me a passing mark.
I can’t really claim that I’ve been driving in America for 32 years because I don’t actually live here. I drive when I am here and for the first 20 years, I only visited once a year and only for two to three weeks at the most. And most of the time Edmund was with me so I would only be the happy passenger.
That changed in the past ten years. I visited twice a year and stayed for two weeks to a month. Then in the past 5 years, I visited twice a year but stayed longer, one month to two months. I am getting older and instead of making three short trips, it’s physically relaxing if two times a year but longer. This year is an exception because of the shelter-in-place, lockdowns, travel bans, flight cancellations, I got stuck here longer than expected.
Staying here longer means I have no choice but to drive or else I would be stuck indoors. Not being able to drive by myself would be so limiting. I can’t pick up food, shop in Homegoods, visit relatives, go to art galleries, hunt for antiques.
In all those years of coming here, I never got comfortable driving in the freeway, or highway as we call it in the PI. I find driving in their wide, expansive freeway so intimidating for three reasons.
1. The other vehicles zoom past me. They are so fast as if they are frantically in a hurry to get to their destination. The first thing I know is that I am ahead and when I look in the rearview mirror, there wouldn’t be any more vehicles behind me. Where did they all go?
2. I find the freeway exits complicated. I get so nervous that I will miss the exit and that’s what usually happens. I get lost.
(photos taken on 8/21 with ECY on the wheel)
3. I have a poor sense of direction and have some difficulty following and understanding Waze. Turn right and stay on the left. Keep left and stay to the right. Stay on the right, then left. Exit to the right then left. Ano daw?