My impending doom

Y’all, something bad is going to happen.  I can feel it in the wind, in my bones.

They want me to learn to drive.

This is a terrible idea, y’all.  I know, my father and a few more of you are already agreeing with me because of that whole giant-red-truck incident a year and a half ago, but I am not even talking about that.  Since that little mishap, I have been accident- and ticket-free.  My driving is fine, thank you very much.

But that’s driving in America.  Driving in Spain is a whole different beast, a monstrous beast complete with claws, fangs, and horns made out of small children.  To speed this up, I’ve compiled a list of all the dangers associated with me learning to drive here:

1. Their cars are stick shifts.  I don’t know how to drive a stick shift, and I’m not willing to practice on one of theirs.  The last time I drove anything slightly stickshifty was a dirtbike when I was 16, and I didn’t like it then either. 
2. Where would I practice?  It’s not like there are giant parking lots here.  No Prestonwood with its own little world of stop signs, no giant SuperWalMart with a parking lot bigger than most neighborhoods.
3. Their driveway is really narrow, and I know I’m going to break off a mirror.  Or two. 
4.  There are very few radio stations in English.  The whole point of driving is listening to music very loudly.
5. I’d be driving their children.  Why would anyone let me drive small children?  Especially in these tiny cars that likely offer very little impact protection.  Again, it’s one thing in America where I know all the traffic laws, know the city really well, know my car really well, and understand the mentality of other drivers.  None of those apply in Spain.  I don’t even know how to turn on the windshield wipers (which is important to know; see #6).
6. The whole point of me learning is that when it’s too cold or rainy to walk to school, we could drive.  Why would I want to drive in the rain?
7. I am not quite up on my Spanish road signs or road rules, which are more different from ours than you’d expect.  For example, here, pedestrians can just walk out in front of cars (In the crosswalks) and cars are expected to stop.  In the US, if you walk out in front of moving traffic without a “Walk” sign, you’re really just asking for a trip to the ER.
8. Roundabouts, y’all.  Enough said.
9. Parallel parking.  Can’t do it, and never have been able to.  Unfortunately Spain’s not real big on parking lots or wide open spaces (see #2).
9. And finally, the reason that underwrites all the others– Spanish drivers are CRAZY.  They drive on the sidewalk, for heaven’s sake.  I am not kidding.  This happens frequently. You’re walking on the sidewalk, minding your own business, and out of nowhere a car is backing up toward you until it is completely on the sidewalk, about six inches from where you stood.   They consider those little white lines on the sides of the road to be guidelines rather than mandates.  They see your lane and think, “Oh, we can both fit here, so let’s share!”  Seriously, y’all, I am going to die. 

Prayers would be appreciated.  I’ll keep you posted on how I wreck their car.


5 thoughts on “My impending doom

  1. I don’t know who I’m more concerned about — you, the little children you’ll be driving, or the other drivers on the road. You’re right — this is a very, very bad idea. And I drove from Edinburgh to London, so I know a thing or two about roundabouts (a notion that must’ve been conceived in the very depths of Hell) and stick-shift-equipped vehicles driven on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car. Wonky, wonky, wonky…

  2. Oh come on, Em! Don’t listen to all those nay-sayers! You can totally do this! First, you can brush up on all your Spanish! Isn’t part of the point of this trip to become fluent?! Learn your traffic signs, listen to Spanish music, and drive like you usually do 😉 Don’t worry about how small the car is and how that affects impact — everyone drives small cars, so it’ll be fine 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t teach you how to drive a stick shift when I had the chance; it’s really not too bad, you just have to watch out for hills. Roundabouts…. well, just avoid those and you’ll be fine. You’re only driving to school, right? how many roundabouts can there be?
    I love you. You can do this, without a doubt. You survived (and even liked!) College Station, your mom teaching you to drive in America, and many many plane trips.

    • Haha there are four roundabouts on the way to school, and the driveway itself is a very steep hill that one must go up in order to get out. I appreciate the vote of confidence, though. Maybe I’ll print this out and stick it in the car with me.

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