Driving a manual car

Over six years ago, when I bought my latest car, I moved from a manual transmission (stick shift) to an automatic transmission. I learned to drive in a manual car over 40 years ago and have always driven a manual until this one.

This week my car is being fixed. As I have a few appointments, my friend offered hers while she is away. I gratefully accepted the offer. The bonus was that Dreamy could ride in it. However, her car has a manual transmission.

Driving a manual car has always been natural to me. I can’t believe how quickly I have forgotten how to drive one. Here a few issues I have experienced so far:

  • Forgot which pedal was the clutch; thought it was the brake pedal.
  • Turned the ignition on to start the car when it was still in gear (often) so that it jumped forward and stalled.
  • Stalled the car at the lights twice because I left it in second or third gear and attempted to drive off when the lights turned.
  • Moved the gear stick from second to fifth gear while driving which nearly caused it to stall.
  • Tried to change gears without my foot pressing the clutch fully to the floor making the gears crunch.
  • Learned that so many people drive at 40 km per hour because they don’t want to change gears.

It has been an entertaining experience. If you see someone driving erratically where I live, it will most likely be me!

This shows how quickly we can forget our automatic responses when we no longer use them, and it gives me hope that we can change other behaviour patterns when we need.

In love, Jenny

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