Daily Prompt: Maze Confusion

Feldbrunnen to Subingen via Derendingen und Gerlafingen 23.03 (35)

Dad worked for Ford’s Motor company in the wheel department, but we never had a car. He never learned to drive one and for mum they were always dangerous machines, although a drive in a  car was a big adventure for her. No-one had a car in our family except for my aunt and uncle. They had no children and were probably the only ones that could afford a car. At the age of 18 dad’s mate volunteered to give me my first lessons, a brave man. I had no idea how this car thing worked. He had a Ford car  (all dad’s mates drove Ford because they all worked there) and this particular car which I was learning on had the gear change on the steering wheel with a bench seat at the front. This was my first driving experiences. I think I had about 10 lessons, but I was not really interested and we both decided it was a good idea for me to give up.

I moved on, went to Switzerland a couple of years later. This driving thing was something and nothing, and I was always lucky enough to have boyfriends with their own car, so why bother.

One day I met the man of my life, he could drive a car, but due to lack of money we were bus people. However, with time he got himself a moped, one of those motor driven bikes. I could not drive an ordinary bike, so I did not bother. Then one day, when the financial situation had improved, we bought our first car, a second hand white beetle Volkswagen. It was nothing special, and not exactly the solution on wheels, but it was a beginning.

Cutting a long story short, we progressed with the size and power of our cars, and eventually had a Simca. The kids were now growing and it was decided (I decided) I should learn to drive. I found a driving teacher, and after about 95 lessons, not quite 100, I took the test and passed first time. It is still a mystery to me today, although I had no problem in changing gears, I was just not so good in keeping a straight line on the road, steering wheel problems. Of course this was not enough, and I instisted on my own car which was a second hand Fiat 127 Top model.

Fiat 127 Top - my first car

They do not make them like that any more. I was so happy when I found this photo in my archives, the only memoray I have of this little first car. I still have my original driving licence from 22.07.1982 when I was 36 years old. I never bothered to get one of those nice new plastic cards. I still have the original on blue paper, a little torn at the edges now and it serves its purpose. There are people that seem to have driving mechanism in their physical construction, I do not. In the meanwhile I converted to driving an automatic. Cars are basically all the same with gears and brakes and lamps and steering wheels. Unfortunately roads do not stay the same. Where there used to be a nice two way road, there is suddently a system of one way roads. Things had to go faster, and so motorways appeared connecting all the main towns in the country.  I needed my car for working purposes, but when I was at last retired it was no longer necessary – I had a chauffeur with a car which I could use if necessary

It came to pass that I discovered he could do it better than me, so who am I to argue. It also came to pass that over the years I was no longer driving and when I was diagnosed with MS I gave up altogether. My neurologist found this was not good, Mr. Swiss was not being the youngest shoot on the family tree, and so I began to drive again. We take turns when going to the supermarket who is on the steering wheel. However, I do not choose complicated maze-similar paths, I stick to the roads I know.

Now and again the powers that be in the area decide on repairing roads and changing directions with the aid of special traffic lights or men that stand in the middle of the road waving their hands to show you where to go. I do not like that, but I suppose you cannot have everything. I would add I never go near a motorway, the cars go too fast. Although Mr. Swiss tells me  to slow down now and again. Of course I only drive faster to see if he is keeping an eye on things.

My steering has not really improved a lot, there are some things that you cannot change, but I more or less keep to the middle of road, most of the time, although sometimes you have to be more on the right because you are turning off somewhere. Oh, why does driving a car have to be complicated.

Feldbrunnen to Subingen via Derendingen und Gerlafingen 23.03 (10)

Daily Prompt: Maze Confusion

12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Maze Confusion

  1. Love this story! Being raised on a farm I learned to drive at age 13 – even though I could’t get my drivers licenses until age 16. I use to drive a big work type truck and loved every second of it…yes times have most certainly changed. Have a great weekend.

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  2. It really bewilders me, but driving in the Swiss countryside, I was lost a lot. The day I drove in the labyrinth of Zürich and back to Obfelden, no problem. I suppose it’s a matter of familiarity or sheer recklessness, not sure. A person has to drive where I live. There is no public transportation because there is basically no public! 😀

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    • And I do not have such problems in the local countryside, just follow the signs. It is probably because I know the area so well. I would definitely have problems in Zürich with all the trams and busses. We have a local train to bring me to the next town of Solothurn, which is not so far, although I now manage the journey again with the car.

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  3. You really reminded me of the long process of learning to drive. I didn’t learn in high school like most suburban kids because I grew up in the city and we used subways and buses, not cars. I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 17 and my son was nearly five. But eventually I was pretty good driver, eventually and did a lot of it over the years. Now, of course, like you I drive very little. Funny how that wheel has come all the way around!

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    • I only learned to drive when I was in my mid thirties. I was working full time and had all 4 kids as well and the household. I had to save time somehow. Things were a lot easier with my own car,. When I was working driving was part of daily routine, but when I stopped working, realized that driving was not one of my favorite hobbies. We are both getting older and now I realize that there are times when I have to drive when Mr Swiss is not around, but I can now do it again.

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  4. I took lessons in my thirties but did not pass the test the first time and the second instructor I had I did not get along with so in the end I never got my licence. I regret that sometimes although I always managed to get around. My dad was the same never owned a car even though he worked at Ford too. Most people we knew did not have cars so riding in them was a novelty until we came to Australia.

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    • I knew some when I was younger that couldn’t wait to get their license as if it was some sort of great achievement in life. It didn’t bother me, but I eventually did it as I had too much stress without. I am now glad to have a driving license but I do not enjoy driving on the road. I love train journeys better where I can relax and watch the scenery go by.

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  5. Hi. It was lovely reading your article. Thankfully in India, we do not stick to any particular lane. I just learned driving last year and I have still to get my bearings around it. Hopefully, I will learn to drive like you soon enough 🙂

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