Thursday, June 04, 2009

Italian Driving School Diaries - A gold star day.

Today I only stalled out once! We were on a darn hill and I came off the clutch too fast.

However, it was a gold star day because I drove from the school to the Auditorium (Parco della Musica) parking lot, then out of the city. My lesson was for two hours.

Driving a manual in the city is a pain in the butt. Driving on a country road, is bliss. I finally got to go to 4th gear. We were north of the city, in an area called Cassia. Very pretty.

I didn't love the merging lanes on my way out of the city but everything turned out okay.

I really have to watch downshifting from 3rd to 2nd. I keep going to 4th. Bruno told me, while lighting up a cigarette, that I will fail my exam if I do that.

We also practiced parallel parking and u-turns.

This whole experience has been humbling. I do know how to drive and I used to be an excellent parallel parker. The first time I tried to do it with a standard/stick, was not pretty.

I might practice with a friend this weekend.

Does anyone watch the British show TOP GEAR? I was speaking (if you can call it that with my butchered Italian) with Bruno about it. Watching the show makes me want to go out and race some cars. Perhaps I should focus on going from 3rd to 2nd first. Baby steps.

13 comments:

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

You're livin the dream baby!!! I love reading posts like this from you. I mean, hello! It's awesome. Pretty soon you'll have your little pink patente too. Being a certified Italian driver is something to brag about for sure.

Gibber said...

i'm so amazed that you're doing this. i could NEVER drive a stick. heck, i was driving in the rain last nite and was all paranoid. couldn't imagine adding a stick to that equation. bravo (or is it brava? whatevs, congrats)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Sounds like a gold star day, indeed. And I echo Gibber.

Sonia said...

Good Job! I can drive a stick with no problems... but it's these crazy Italians that freak me out!! I can't drive with them.. at least not yet.

ps.. My husband and I used to watch Top Gear. It makes me want to race too.

SDG said...

Wow! Do your thing. Sounds like you are making alot of progress.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

shelley - I hope so. I have to pass the darn test first. I thought after the written exam I would feel more confident but the whole parallel parking thing makes me very, very nervous.

gibber - I bet you could if you had to. The first time I drove stick it started pouring. Add crazy scooters to the mix and I almost had a melt down. My instructor is great though.

jen - grazie.

sonia - I know what you mean. That first day driving back to Center was unnerving.

sdg - thank you. I'm trying.

Fern said...

Phew - good for you. Driving school, the practical part, was one of the worst experiences of my entire life - which is saying something, because I too am year of Rat, but I think an older rat than you! Keep at it - the examiner comes to the driving test with your patente with him - he WANTS you to pass! It's just the darn teachers that put the fear of failure in us...

Liane Spicer said...

Oh, I know Top Gear. Love that show!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

fern - thanks for the encouraging words.

liane - Top Gear is great. I think it airs the States as well.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

should be "in" the States.

glamah16 said...

Oh Lord. CS loves Top Gear. It is a fun show. It cracks me up how men love their toys, cars.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah - it such quirky show... part talk show, part driving show.

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