I love to drive. The feeling of independence and power is stronger when I’m behind the wheel; I feel like I am queen of the road and the streets that I pass are my conquests. As long as I’m familiar with the routes, I can drive anywhere. And even though I have been driving for about 3 or 4 years in the Philippines, I still feel amazed and proud of myself for learning how to drive.
I thought I would still feel the same when we move to Canada. I did pass my driving test with just one try and bought our car a few months after we got here. So why is it that I avoid driving?
Maybe because the traffic rules are so different here. For one thing, there are speed limits that has to be followed;
30-50kph in school zones
40-50kph in residential areas
60-70kph in major urban and suburban areas
80-100kph in highways outside the city
(The only speed limit I know I follow in the Philippines is at the NLEX)
then there are traffic lights and signs at every corner;
Stop signs plus 2-way, 3-way and 4-way signs on corners where there are no traffic lights
Traffic signs that only apply during certain hours
The bus and bicycle lanes
Animal crossing signs
Plus my dreaded left turn on intersections (hirap i-explain, basta kakaiba dito). Different, yes, but if you would rationalize the difference, it isn’t necessarily more difficult. In fact, if you would just follow the rules, it is actually easier.
And then there’s snow… I thought they were joking when they said that even if you’re running only about 10-15 kms per hour on a snow covered road then slam on the breaks, you’d still see yourself sliding. Well, I didn’t find it funny when we did a 360 degree turn on a corner on our way to work.
And did I mention the potholes? Man! I thought the roads were bad in the Philippines! When all the snow on the road disappeared, the potholes took over. That’s why they say there are only 2 seasons here in Winnipeg; Winter season and Construction season.
So why don’t I like driving here? All of the above, plus the fact that I am in a foreign country where my insecurities are higher.
Maybe I will get used to it eventually. Build enough confidence to drive around by myself again. But until then, good thing I still have someone to drive for me