Learning to drive
Hi all, and welcome back to our vehicles blog. When I was invited to write a piece for this blog I was stumped, not only do I have limited knowledge of vehicles but I also have never driven any motorised vehicle. Well, saying I've never driven any motorised vehicle is a bit of a stretch, I can boast that I have driven a dodgem or bumper cars and once I tried to ride a scooter (I'll give you more on that later) I'm just studying for my theory and I start my first lesson next week, needless to say I have bought a few books offhttp://www.for-sale.co.uk/driving-theory-test-questions to help!
I grew up in London, and being from London owning a car and driving doesn't hold the same appeal it does to those who live in smaller towns. Less than 30% of young people aged 17-20 hold a driving license, and across households of all ages in London less than 30% of them have a privately owned car, for the whole household. And out of the 8 million people that live in London, there are only 2.6 million cars privately owned, and bear in mind this includes residents who live in incredibly affluent areas such as Knightsbridge, where the average household income is £100,000 (whereas the average household income across London is £39,100 and the average household in the UK is £30,600). Check out the daily mails article; Britain’s Wealthiest Borough.
So back to telling you about my most recent vehicle experience. Would be the time I tried to ride a Scooter. I was living out in Cambodia in a relatively small town. The only way to travel around the town would be walking, riding a bicycle or riding a moto/scooter. Having grown up in London the idea of losing my independence by not being able to get around was horrible, walking around in the heat does not work out well, not only are you boiling hot by the time you get to your destination, you shouldn't even bother showering that morning because you will be covered in sweat and I can't even begin to tell you how many times you will have said 'No, thank you' to tuk tuk and motodop drivers who will look at you like your crazy for walking in the heat (and you are).
Two Wheels no engine
Being on a bicycle is marginally better, I mean don't get me wrong you're going to be hideously sweaty and hot and will likely resemble some form of red berry, but at least you will feel like you have accomplished something, and no-one will ask you if you need a ride. Also the other problem with being on a bicycle is the bicycle itself. Bikes in Cambodia don't have gears. Bikes in Cambodia don't have comfortable seats. Bikes in Cambodia don't have any suspension. Bikes in Cambodia don't have wheels which hold air for any length of time. And that just leaves riding a Scooter. The most popular form of transport for people in Cambodia, that includes locals, expats and tourists. For the most part people don't wear helmets and the attention paid to riding and the road ahead is negligible. So I was slightly nervous, and went out with a friend who was to teach me. We head out of town and he shows me the basics. Press this, turn that etc etc. I'm feeling fairly okay about the whole thing as we're off in the salt fields and there's hardly anyone around so I won't hit anyone. Awesome. I get on the bike and get going, it takes a couple of minutes for me to get the hang of going but it's all going well so far. I go forward and get to the end, and begin to turn. Now this is where I had trouble. It wasn't a 90 degrees turn I had to do, it was 180. And the path is starting to feel a bit too narrow, with salt ponds on either side. So I go to brake. The left hand brake wasn't working and when I went to push the right brakes I ended up turning the acceleration and flying forwards into the salt river. Knee Deep. Me and the scooter. To cut a long story short, we ended up having to get locals to help pull the bike out and another friend had to come and help push drive the bike home.
So, yes, that's why I have never driven. I'm really excited to be about to learn and hopefully I'll be able to add to the 2.6 million Londoners who own a car. I'm currently looking into the car I'd like and after this article a couple of weeks ago I definitely have my eye on theGolf GTI. Hopefully when I'm next back on the blog I'll be able to tell you all about the exciting new places I've been able to go to because I'll be able to drive and will have a car. Till next time, bye!