My first UK Driving Lesson

Saturday, October 13, 2012
I just got home from having my first UK driving lesson.  If you know me, you may be wondering why I'd need a lesson when I've been driving half my life, but driving is very different here and we figured it would be the best way to get me test ready.  I actually thought I would just need a few lessons, but was definitely off with my estimate.
With my first right hand turn, I ended up driving on the wrong side of the road!  Not a great start right?  The good news is that my instructor told me it would happen.  She said it's happened with every American driver she's taken on.  She said when you start driving you go directly into auto pilot and just do it.  I thought, no way, I've been living here 8 years.  There's no way I'm going to do it.  The worst part was that I didn't even realize I did it!  She had to tell me!  By the 3rd time, I wanted to pull over and declare myself unfit to drive.  By the 4th right hand turn, I finally got the hang of it.  It's a matter of re-programming your mind.
I have to admit that roundabouts sent me into a frenzy of anxiety.  In NJ, when you go around a circle, it's literally every man for himself - there's no rules - only chaos.  They have always scared the hell out of me, so my initial reaction to anything resembling a circle sends me into anxiety overdrive.  I did okay, but I white-knuckled it the whole time!
The good news is that my instructor told me I did the best out of all of her American drivers on their first lesson.  The bad news is she thinks it will be more like 10 - 15 lessons apposed to just a few! I totally agree!  What a nerve wracking experience!

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