Bloggisti my instructor, Bruno, threw me into the deep end.
First he drove from the Autoscuola to the Parco Della Musica. There's a big parking lot there and the roads don't have too much traffic. I saw several other driving school cars there.
For my first time EVER driving a stick I didn't do too badly. I stalled out only twice. The clutch feels so foreign to me. To start the car I had trouble remembering to depress the clutch, then give some gas, come slowly off the clutch, etc. Ack.
Going from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd gear was actually fun. Stopping and starting are going to be a problem. ha.
We were driving on the quiet side streets. Bruno said I was doing a great job. Then instead of making a right onto another side street he had me go straight and turn left onto the busy street (Lungotevere) that runs along the Tiber. Was he crazy? WTF?
I went right into heavy traffic with scooters, underpasses and to top it off, it suddenly started to pour buckets. I drove closer and closer to the Center while trying not to freak out. Then he told me I couldn't use the right hand side mirror in the test so don't use it now, only the rear view mirror. Great.
Finally we were close to the Cavour Bridge and we switched seats. I'm glad he didn't make me drive through Piazza Navona.
Bruno told me I needed to relax. I'm a good driver and tensing up will cause me to make mistakes. I haven't driven in over a year, so I was feeling rusty earlier. Plus, I know this is strange, I get nervous driving with other people in the car. Even after 20 plus years. It makes no sense.
If I were going to take the test on an automatic car (I have that option but then I would only have an automatic license) I would take at least one or two driving classes. Bruno busted me for putting my right hand in the wrong position when I went to turn the steering wheel for a left turn. I griped the wheel with my palm facing upwards. That is one bad habit I need to break.
I think I will be better prepared for my next lesson. Now I get why my friends who drive stick/standard say you have to pay more attention. I also have to pay attention because these lessons are mostly in Italian. My comprehension has definitely improved since I started going to the school.