And it has promoted another thing that is less "exciting" and more "deeply terrifying": I am learning how to drive.
When I turned 17 my parents gave me six driving lessons for a present. They were eventually redeemed by my brother when he turned 17, 2 years and 4 months later. My parents were disappointed. I was sorry they were disappointed. But I was not sad that I hadn't used the gift.
Up until now, I have not needed nor wanted to drive, so I have not learned. I lived in Christchurch and Fuchu-shi (Japan) and Melbourne, all of whom had public transport systems that went from "okay, mostly" to "superb, cleaned by people wearing white gloves." But my teaching job is in a place where a car would, finally, be very close to essential.
So I have to learn.
Five reasons being able to drive would be kinda cool:
1: I could buy a whole bunch of groceries at once!
2: Lugging piles of resources to school would be significantly easier on my back and shoulders.
3: I wouldn't have to check with people if I can get a ride to a thing that isn't within public transport + walking reach, and turn down the thing/take a taxi if no ride was available.
4: Road trips! I like those! I could offer to spell the driver!
5: If there was an emergency I could drive someone someplace, although frankly I would not put me behind the wheel in an emergency unless there was absolutely no other option whatsoever.
Ten reasons driving is super awful:
1: So bad for the environment. Like, ridiculously, terribly bad.
2: I will need to acquire an exercise regime beyond "walk places".
3: A CAR WEIGHS ABOUT FIVE HUNDRED TIMES MORE THAN A TODDLER AND IF I HIT A TODDLER WITH A CAR THEY WILL DIE AND I WILL CARRY THAT GUILT FOREVER.
4: Ugh cars are so expensive to buy and upkeep and fill with petrol.
5-10: SEE REASON THREE.
I acquired my learner license on Tuesday. My Fabulous Sister has given me two ten-minute lessons in an empty parking lot, because that's about as much panic-stricken babbling is fair to unleash on her in a session:
Me: "Okay, I'm stopping, gently, gently, I turn on the indicators, I check my mirrors, I turn the wheel a bit, I put my foot on the accelerator, I turn more TURN MORE TURN MORE."
She: "You're fine, now straighten up."
Me: "It's NOT STRAI- okay, I slow down a bit, I - OMG ANOTHER CAR IS COMING INTO THE PARKING LOT."
She: "You're fine, just make sure you stay to the-"
Me: "No, nope, I'm just going to stop and wait for it to go. THIS IS SCARY."
She: "No, it's not! You're being negative again!"
Me: "DID I NOT TELL YOU ABOUT THE TODDLER?"
I'll get there. I have to learn, so I will. But at the moment, my driving life is a slow* disaster movie.
* Very, very slow.
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