Driving lessons

My heart was pounding with excitement. It was the first day of my driving lessons and I was holding the steering of a white Nissan Sunny. The exhilaration I felt was so intense that I could hardly keep my hands on the wheel.

I had always wanted to learn driving after watching my dad handle different cars, with innate ease. So one summer as a birthday present, my dad told me that I could take driving lessons.

I joined Emirates Driving School and opted for lessons in an automatic vehicle.
The yellow coaster which ferried me everyday to the institute was filled with excited chatter in Arabic, Urdu, Farsi and English. You could hear snatches of conversation filled with congratulations and commiserations on either passing or failing the road test.
The institute had different sections for male and female students.

Most of the driving instructors were Jordanians, Pakistanis or Filipinos. Vergie my Filipino instructor was a very friendly and patient lady.

The first week we were only allowed to drive inside the institute premises. Gradually, after gaining a certain degree of confidence and competence, we ventured into the main road.

Always alert Vergie taught me how to navigate the crowded Dubai streets. Starting at a steady 40 kmph I slowly graduated to an amazing 80 kmph. During my two-hour daily lessons she would constantly instruct me about traffic signals, road safety rules, the road signs, and parking techniques.

After passing my parking test, I attended lectures on signals and traffic safety. We were each handed a thick pamphlet on various road signs, their significance and the necessary safety measures to be observed while driving. After religiously studying the booklet I gave my second test.

By then I had gained enough confidence and my instructor decided one day to take me down the busy Dubai Port road. While she monitored my reflexes on the road, she gave me some final tips and told me that I was ready to appear for my road test.

At last that long awaited day arrived. As I eased my self into the driver’s seat and prayed feverishly that everything would go alright, the examiner arrived. After tackling a roundabout, 2 U turns, a kerb parking and scrutinising my general driving abilities we returned to the institute.

I waited anxiously in the reception bay for my name to be called. Finally my turn came and I was congratulated and handed the yellow slip. I was the proud new owner of a driving license.

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