April 27, 2009

Upcoming Driving Test

After 11 years of driving in Malaysia, it feels a tad funny to have to take a driving test again to be able to drive here.

L Plates

I have never driven anywhere outside Malaysia. I didn't have the opportunity to drive when I was in the UK, and I wasn't allowed to drive when in Japan. It's about time that I get a full driver's license instead of just sticking to a learner's permit, so I arranged for a driving test, which is this Wednesday.

To make sure I learn the test routes properly, I decided to engage a few driving lessons with RACV. I thought perhaps a couple of lessons would suffice, as hey, it can't be that different from driving in Malaysia, eh?

Two lessons soon became five. My driving instructor, Gayle, bless her, was incredibly patient with me even though I couldn't do a good reverse parallel park, forget to do exaggerated mirror checks and often drive over the speed limit. Driving at 50-60 kph (and making sure I never go further than that on roads that have that speed limit) is torture, when other cars seemed to be zooming past me like there's no tomorrow. I'm not a reckless driver in Malaysia, but I don't think I've ever been that cautious about my speed limits than I am over here. Exceeding the speed limit over here is an immediate FAIL. Many a time, Gayle would comment that I'm too cautious when on the road, and that makes me a hazard. Over-cautious, imagine that!

So many bad driving habits to overturn, so little time and practice. I can't practise driving Tim's car as it's on a manual transmission (I'm getting the auto license), and it's turbo-charged. Today, I rented a car to practise on. Five hours of non-stop driving was simply exhausting.

So wish me luck this Wednesday, for I sure am nervous. 'Tis pity there's no such thing as 'kopi lesen' here.

I might, for the first time in my life, actually need it.

April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

Easter 2009

Heading out for a day trip with the hubs tomorrow. Hoping to catch a ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento. We did that when I came to Melbourne to visit him a couple of years back, and it was lovely catching the sunset on the ferry. Oooh I can't wait!

The long Easter weekend reminds me of the usual Hari Raya or Chinese New Year seasons in Malaysia. Massive traffic from people doing the balik kampung, and the place turns into a ghost town. Most, if not all, of the shops are closed. Everyone's at home eating (chocolates, that is).

Have a lovely Easter, people. Watch that intake of chocolate eggs, and drive safe. I'll be getting my share after the season's over, when shops slash prices to clear the chocs :P