Saturday, February 09, 2013

IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT (1)


“Luckily you warned me … I’ll keep off the road when you’re driving,” a friend said, jokingly (well, I think he was!) when I first told him that I had signed up for driving class.
He asked why I decided to go to driving school now, not when I was much younger.
Well, I didn’t see the urgency then to learn how to drive, own a driving licence and drive my own car. In fact, I still don’t have that urgency now.
Only, I thought it would be a challenge for me to do so (goes to show how mundane my life is now!) since I have never driven a car before (unless a go-kart can be considered a four-wheel vehicle like a car and the one occasion that I was brave enough to move the other half’s automatic transmission car forward).
I said before that I would sign up for classes when the government introduces automatic transmission driving licence but that will not be forthcoming any time soon. It was a year ago that I wrote about it. When I first signed up for the class, the female staff there told me that I had to pay RM10 extra as I requested English as the medium of instruction. “Kenapa saya kena bayar extra? (Why do I have to pay extra?),” I asked her. “Bukan memang patut you offer dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan English? (Aren’t you supposed to offer in both Bahasa Malaysia and English?)”
She kept quiet at my outburst.
Tak apa (Never mind),” the male supervisor said. “Nanti kita bincang (We will discuss later),” he said.
Then, he told me that the manual in English is little bit more expensive.
“What? My tutor is from England, is it?” 
Oh, they must have thought I would be a student from hell. That actually crossed my mind.
I signed up for the “Sampai Lulus Kelas D” package, which cost RM400 more than the regular package. This means if I fail the test the first time, I can go for additional hours and re-sit the test without having to pay extra.
Seriously, I wasn’t sure if I can pass the test the first time. This was like buying insurance on the likelihood that I will not be successful on the first try.
The first thing I will have to do was attend a five-hour Highway Code class and sit for a computerized theory test conducted by the Road Transport Department. I don’t know how many questions will be asked but I was told the passing mark is 42.
After passing the test, I will have to attend a six hour maintenance course (three hours of theory, another three of practical) before I’m issued the Learner Driver’s Licence (LDL) or “L” by the RTD.
With the “L” licence, I can then take up practical driving. I will have a driving instructor.
It will take a month of practical driving before I go for the practical test.

-          To be continued

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