I know how to drive stickshift now, and it's even fun. Both phrases need qualifying. I know how to drive stickshift well enough to get you to the hospital whilst breaking several traffic laws, if you went into labour unexpectedly for example. And it's fun in the sense of I like making the car go but it's not fun when I keep stalling when I forget to go back to first gear after coming to a complete stop. But I have to say I'm enjoying it, and despite how fucking expensive the process is here I'm glad I'm going through the 20 hours of lessons. Learning stickshift in such a way that I'll know how not to roll back into people while stopped on hills or totally fuck up my transmission is a real life skill.
So my last lesson is Monday morning and then I'll have my provisional license. After that, it's a three month apprentissage until I can take the exam for the full license. And then, fun as it's all been, I probably won't drive again for a long fucking time. I can't rent cars or participate in car shares here until my full license is two years old, and we sure as shit aren't buying a car. I'm still opposed to their very existence and we're too cheap - I'm blowing enough cash now on the driving school, and will be blowing enough cash from special rental places during the three-month apprentissage, to make myself pretty determined to not spend money on this ridiculous 'driving' shit again until it's absolutely necessary. It is jolly fun though! I'm beginning to see why fatties all over the developed world insist on using cars instead of their feet to get to convenience stores a few blocks from their houses.
And I'm starting to understand that people who say they prefer stickshift to automatic might mean it, and not just be total wankers who like making things more complicated than they need to be. There's more control whilst driving and stopping, like they're always going on about. And then I really like the clutch. It lets you inch, and it makes parallel parking a breeze. Also I like the way the car bounces ever so slightly when you shift in the higher gears whilst going a bit fast. Makes me feel like Daisy Duke. I wonder how she voted in the last election.