My driving theory test

Monday, October 22, 2012
I woke up this morning with a full on flu - achy, sweaty and as they say in England, full of cold (which just means having a terrible cold).  I've not been feeling well since Friday, but this morning it was bad.  I had my appointment to take my written driving exam this morning that I already paid for.  I really didn't want to go and didn't feel ready.  My flu didn't help, but as I paid for it and would have to pay again to reschedule, I decided to suck it up and go.  I am so glad I did because I passed despite it all!  Woo-hoo!
I've taken two driving lessons with my instructor and have to be honest - it's awful!  I feel completely incapable of driving here! Wrong side of the car and wrong side of the road really screws with your head.  It feel impossible to judge anything on the left side of the car!  My instructor grabbed the wheel a few times on both lessons.  Every turn I take, I have to tell myself over and over again -'Stay to the left.  Stay to the left!' The roads here are very narrow and there's also a real parking problem so more times than not, cars are parked on the side of the road which forces you to go into the oncoming lane to pass them.  This goes against every instinct I have as a driver.  In NJ, you never have to steer into oncoming traffic.  Here, it's done all the time and drivers expect it and know to make room for you.  Every time I have to do it, I feel panicked and start to inch back over.  My instructor pushes the wheel back and I fight her every time!  I feel unsafe!  I feel like I can't drive!
The most bizarre side effect to being on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road is that I confuse my right from my left (A concept I've had down since around the age of five). When I'm driving here, my instructor will tell me to signal left and I signal right!  It's crazy!  I know my right from left and yet I still do it!  She says it's because I'm thinking too much about doing everything opposite than I'm used to so everything gets turned around.  She says this will pass and at some point it will all click into place, but it makes me feel stupid!  If I would have tried driving on the open road like I do with my instructor with my husband, I surly would have gotten us killed, but she's trained for this and also has a brake on her side of the car (which she's had to use on more than one occasion  so she's been able to keep us safe.  I can't put into words how stressed I feel for the entire hour I'm driving.  When the lesson is over, I am so relieved and can't wait to get out of the car!  She says I'm doing great, but it's not how I feel and I dread every lesson!
My son is off from school next week so I won't be able to do any lessons with him home (having no-one to leave him with) so I've told my instructor we'll start again the following week.  I want to do at least 3 lessons a week to get used to it.  Having lessons so few and far in between in pointless.  I can't say I'm sorry to have the break.  If it wasn't an absolute necessity to start driving here, I'd give up and never get behind the wheel again!

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