Scary Cars

(Part of a daily posting streak but for once I don’t think I need to apply the disclaimers to this. If you thought for even one second that the title was a palindrome, I’ve succeeded. It’s not. I don’t have a good title. Okay, maybe slap the disclaimers onto that part.)

The first time I drove a car was on 5/18. I think. I might be off by a day or so. Most of that day’s lesson was spent learning to go forward and backward, accelerate and decelerate smoothly, and turn the wheel without getting my hands tangled up. My coach made me count out loud how many circles I was turning: 一圈半圈半圈一圈etc. It felt kind of stupid when I was doing it, but I guess in the end it helped, and eventually once I got the hang of turning the wheel, I just subvocalized it and my coach also tacitly stopped bothering me about it.

The first time I activated a turn signal light was probably on 5/26. That was the day I wrote in my TIL log that, when you turn the steering wheel back from the direction you were turning, the turn signal lights turn off automatically. After you think about it, this is a pretty sensible thing for turn signal lights to do, but when I first learned this my mind was utterly blown. Wow!

It’s like when you’re turning and you turn on the turn signal and it starts clicking this steady beat to increase the dramatic tension, like you’re doing a trick in a sports driving game and you have to quickly hit the right sequence of buttons on the controller. Then you actually turn the corner and then turn the wheel back, and as the wheel makes its smooth sliding sound back to its upright position, the beat stops like a resounding V7 to I resolution, as if to congratulate you on executing a beautiful turn without crashing into another car or driving off the side of the road.

That’s what it feels like, anyway.

On slow days, when you’re halfway through a turn but the drivers ahead of you are waiting in a queue that stretches on forever on the practice track, you can shift to the parking gear and use the turn signal’s beat as a metronome and sing along to it too. I do.

Or, of course, there’s the obligatory xkcd:

xkcd


Actually driving on roads outside the practice area is a lot scarier, though.

You have to pay attention to the speed limit. You can’t drive too slowly either, or the people behind you will become irritated, and if you’re really unlucky might stop and bash your car in with a baseball bat or something. But with the vanilla training cars you get, you have to look at the analog speedometer to know how fast you’re going. It’s a few centimeters from the dashboard, but those few centimeters are terrifying to a newbie driver like yourself.

Writing in second person is weird. Sorry.

Now I understand why all the new cars feature the seven-segment LEDs that project your speed onto the corner of your windshield. I would figuratively kill for one of those. Because I don’t want to literally kill anybody when I’m shifting my eyes to my speedometer to compare it against the speed limit and miss the traffic light turning red in the meantime.

Speaking of traffic lights, even when they’re green, it’s kind of scary to drive into, because who knows, some drunk guy might come roaring in from the side despite their red light and blindside me. Like what happened in P******* (censored to avoid spoilers; I will be pretty surprised if anybody can identify the work I’m referring to. But not that surprised because it’s pretty famous in its genre.) Also note that teachers who come from abroad to teach at our school seem to generally agree that Taiwanese drivers are pretty crazy.

xkcd

For God’s sake, you’re entrusting me with a car. I still run over zombies in simulated cars for Kongregate badges sometimes.


That is actually premature, because the driving test is the day after tomorrow and, although I can drive around the test track fine, I am significantly underprepared for the written portion. Most of it is okay, but there’s a list of 50~60 crimes, from committing a hit-and-run that kills somebody to parking where it’s not allowed, for which I’m supposed to remember the punishments and fines for. That’s probably not an unfair supposition considering I had a month to memorize it, but, of course, I didn’t.

In my defense, it’s unspeakably boring. There are a few mildly amusing clauses in the other sections, at least.

科目二,第二章,第二節,4.已領有同等級駕駛執照者,不得參加駕照考驗。

不可以考兩張一樣的駕照喔,駕照不是單手武器不可以一次裝備兩個得到兩倍的攻擊力呦

科目三,第十八節,
3.在高速行車狀況下,駕駛人產生心理上的緊張,遇見交通干擾時,操作較易發生慌亂失常。
4.駕駛人在高速行車狀況下,生理上對於緊急事件之處理,反應會較平時遲鈍,應變能力也比較減退。

我開40就會「產生心理上的緊張」了怎麼辦

科目五,第二章,第一節
7.因為我開車開太久了,曉得開快車的危險可怕,即使乘客要求開快車趕路,但我為了行車安全,還是不能答應,並將危險可怕的教訓告訴他。
13.駕車時謹慎就是將幸福施諸別人的方式之一。

尤其是你的車裡在演連續劇的時候吧

科目五,第二章,第三節
4.夜間行車如來車不變近光燈,我也不可以用遠光燈來報復⋯⋯

其他不可以用來報復的東西包括打火機,棒球棒等物品

I am bad at bilingual snark. Anyway, I’m going to go study now and if I don’t post tomorrow, or post something really underwhelming, that’s my excuse.

Driving is scary.

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3 thoughts on “Scary Cars

  1. Pingback: 2^10 Words | BetaWorldProblems

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