My learning woes.....


I've had series of two hour long driving lessons in the past two weeks and I still don't feel like I've gotten any closer to being confident enough to go for my driving test. The first day of my lesson ended with me feeling not a little depressed; I just felt that there was way too much information coming at me, too many things to be conscious of at the same time and I felt a bit overwhelmed. 


I knew, from having being driven everywhere for the past two and a half years, that UK had way better and more efficient traffic rules than Nigeria (without a shadow of a doubt) and, from observing the roads, especially the motorways, I always knew that learning to drive would not be an easy task but, heck, even in my high estimation, I'm beginning to feel I still managed to underestimate just how complicated it was going to be and how vastly different the scenario here was to what obtained in Nigeria! Solid lines, broken lines, priority over road use, when to give way, numerous road markings, overtly checking for blind spots ( to pass the test, it is not enough to check with your side eye or mirror, you have to turn your neck like a tolo tolo so that everyone can see that, yes, you have checked for your blind spot), way too many manoeuvres, timing and positioning...... It's just too much....

Also, though my instructor seems to be a nice guy, I still can't help thinking that I would really have preferred to use either an African/Nigerian instructor or an English instructor that speaks clearly not with any confusing accents especially for something so complicated that costs so much by the hour. Only because every minute counts really and though I generally understand the british accent quite well, there are a lot of things I still tend to miss in general conversations, especially if I am speaking with someone with a Scottish, Irish or just some other accent I can't even recognize (Welsh, cockney, etc). Sometimes whole sentences said too quickly in these accents are usually lost on me. I'd then have to tie up the general conversation and relate that to what next is being said to have a good understanding- which is what I have been doing as my instructor speaks with a cockney accent and this is not good enough for something as complicated as learning to drive in the UK.  

I searched for a Nigerian driving instructor in my area but didn't find any online and no one has recommended anyone to me as not all instructors are really listed online so I've just got to work with what I have. The first instructor I had called had picked up the phone and when I heard, in heavily Asian accented english, "Yes, yes, I got space for booking, when you have chance?". I tried further to have a conversation but gave up at some point: it was no use, I'd have been frustrated out of my mind had I used him and so I gently let him off easy (is that tautology?). I often feel bad when I have to make alternative plans or choices where an Asian whose english is heavily accented is involved simply because I used to be in their shoes in my first year of being in the UK; infact, I'm still wearing the same shoes as they but I'll say my shoe is a lot less painful now than it used to be...

So, this is where I am at now: struggling to understand and assimilate all of the information coming at me. I know it'll get easier. That is really my comfort. It's like every new venture, no matter how difficult it is, with constant practice, it will get easier; the issue is I haven't got the time and money for "constant practice" lol, I'd just really like to know enough and be confident enough to pass my test and then perfect my skills with "constant practice" AFTER I have now passed :). 

I know I shouldn't think about other people's experiences and focus on mine but it just so happens that a sister in my church just told me last week that she had passed her driving test! I'd exclaimed in excitement and high-fived her because I knew it was a big deal but then she'd added, "Finally!" and when I inquired after what she meant by "Finally", she told me it was her ninth try. NINTH! She said she started since 2010! The pastor's wife had been there too and she said she'd also just recently passed hers at the third trial. Even DH passed at his second trial. And yet, all of these Nigerians passed their theory tests at the first trial. And then I think how my neighbour, the English lady, passed her theory test at the third trial but passed her driving test after just six hours of driving lessons. That's less hours than I have already used and I'm still at this point. #depressedmuch. I wonder if these different stories have anything to do with the fact that all these different people are Nigerians who have been accustomed to bad driving or if it's just a mere coincidence..... #justathought.

I pray Nigeria gets to a point: where driving on the road becomes super safe; where ALL cars and lorries are road worthy and would not be caught on the road if they weren't; where lorries and gwongworos were not falling over constantly and wasting lives; where there are strict laid down driving rules that are adhered to by all and sundry; where safe driving was practiced by everyone; where our roads themselves were not death traps anymore.....
It is well. It will happen. For now, God will keep helping us...

Hope you're having a good week. Me too.... :)

Love Always,
Judgejudyjudy...
X..

Ps: The lady that had her test nine times though. I don't want to think of how much money she spent doing this or how she must have felt having to pay over and over. In my area, driving lessons are normally 26 pounds an hour and the driving test proper is fixed by the govt. at 62 or 75 pounds depending on what day you wanted to have your test done so, really, I cannot afford marathon tests biko.

10 comments

  1. Judy,
    everyone has their own race to run. Focus on your race. Try google or even YouTube you will be amazed at what you have. Ahh you have the best shield ever prayers!!

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    1. Than you so much anon. Indeed I'll try to spend this weekend checking it out on YouTube. I wonder why I didn't think of that? God bless you.

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    2. You are welcome. You inspire me. I know I may never know or meet you but when I read your journeys I get inspired.

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    3. I'm glad you feel that way anon. #ehugs. God bless you.....

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  2. I know you can do it... just soak in as much as you can with the lessons... do you have any friends you can practice, practice, practice with somewhere where there are not a lot of people.. we usually practice in shopping mall parking lots or just outside the city. Saying all this, I never learned to drive, there was once that I thought about it but I live within walking distance of most things except work, but soon I will be working from home... it just wasn't financially reasonable for me to learn. I know you can do it though xox

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    1. That's also one of the issues now, the people around me who drive haven't driven for up to three years which is the legal requirement for anyone who is going to teach anyone, and they are just my church members- my church is made up of just a few working families, no one would really have the chance/time to sit with you for practice so I've got to try to soak up as much as I can with my instructor.....xxx

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  3. Its not really as complicated as you think it is, just take it one at a time, the thing is the more you practice the better you become and it will just come to you naturally. Use YouTube if you have problem areas. Like for me, parralel parking was tough for me till I googled it and watched different videos on YouTube, now I'm pretty perfect at it. You can do same and just assimilate as much as you can. Good luck NNE.

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  4. Your story is your story. I think you can focus on those who passed it the first time around. You choose what to look at.

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