Two sessions into our driving lessons, which was around the 2nd week of September, I told him that I am planning to take the driving test the soonest time possible. He told me that he will assess my progress during the next lesson and if he thinks I can do it then I could already book my driving test.
He assessed me during the next lesson. Luckily, he did seem happy with my progress as he gave the go-signal that I can already book my test. I was so excited to book after that lesson but my enthusiasm came to a halt when I saw that the earliest that I can book is 2 months from then. Seeing the long waiting time and knowing that delaying the booking for another day would just prolong the waiting time even more, I booked the earliest available schedule which fell on November 16.
John is firm. He taught me a lot. I felt he was not just preparing me for the driving test but he was actually preparing me for the long-term - for what will come after I pass my driving test. He equipped me with skills that I will use in real-life driving. He taught me a lot of techniques! He taught me how to handle my steering wheel so that I can have better control when turning. He taught me how to angle-in the kerb when approaching a give-way or stop line. He taught me how to estimate if I will have a safe gap from the oncoming car when I am turning into a primary highway. He taught me how to safely approach a secondary road, reverse park and a whole lot more! But more than the skills, he also told me to have the confidence, to not second-guess myself and to just commit to it. He is a great teacher! In my 2 months of learning with him, I can truly say that my confidence in driving grew a lot. ♥
The day before my driving test, though I was evidently nervous, but I was also excited for what was to come and confident that I can do it. Especially with John by my side, I know I’d be able to do it.
As I was sitting on our living room’s couch that night, just relaxing and easing my mind for tomorrow’s exam, I received a call from John. My initial thought was that he was calling me to remind me of our meet-up time the following day. Unbeknownst to me, he was calling to inform me that he just had been in an accident and he won’t be able to come to the driving test tomorrow as his car was pretty much rammed up and he, as well, bumped his head during the accident. He was completely lost as he was trying to ring up the driving school so that he can hand me over to another instructor but no one is answering anymore since the driving school is already closed. He assured me though that he will still try his best but he was telling me too to inform him should I find another solution.
As he was telling me this, my mind was racing hard and fast. I did not want to miss the opportunity to pass the test tomorrow. However, I was not sure if I am confident enough to do it without John there. On the other hand, I did not want to cancel the test just because he was not there. I tried asking some of my friends if they know a driving instructor who can accompany me in my exam tomorrow. Since it was already so short of a notice, I was not at all expecting that I’ll be able to find one that night. In that moment, I realized that I just have to proceed even if it means going through it alone. So while I was waiting for them to reply, I was already devising another plan in my mind. ♥
I checked the guidelines in VicRoads’ website about bringing my own car. It just specified in there that as long as the car is roadworthy and all the controls are working, then I can bring my car. I am positive that it is roadworthy since it is a new car. Since I only had a Learner’s permit and I can’t drive alone, my only dilemma then is to find someone who has a full license and who is available to accompany me from our house to VicRoads. I had a close friend living nearby who was then on her maternity leave but since I did not want to disrupt her or take away some of her precious time from her baby I did not consider her first.
My test was set in a weekday morning so I knew I had to find someone who is available on a weekday. That immediately scrapped all of my friends from work. I also had a few friends and acquaintances that I can think of but I was pretty sure that they do not have a full driver’s license yet. Since I clearly had no choice and was already desperate, I was back again to my friend, Sarah, who is on maternity leave.
I messaged Sarah and told her of my situation. Since the nearest VicRoads is just a 10-minute drive from our house and the test would not take much time (and maybe she had picked on my desperation!), she told me that she’ll accompany me. She and her husband had their driving test there too so she was quite familiar with the usual test routes. I haven’t driven my car that much yet so I also asked her if we can meet up an hour before the test so that I can familiarize myself with my car. Being a very helpful and accommodating friend that she is, she told me that we can also practice that same night. Two hours later we were already on the road practicing. ♥
We went directly to VicRoads and she did a simulation of the driving test with me. We practiced parking in VicRoads, changing lanes, doing U-turns, and parallel-parking and doing a three-point turn in nearby suburbs. We did two to three rounds of going back and forth between VicRoads and a nearby suburb before calling at a night.
I went home feeling a lot better than hours prior that. I knew I can do it. I went to sleep feeling confident about the exam the following day.
The next day, I was up early. It was raining hard outside. This is it. This is the reckoning that I’ve been waiting for. All of those months I’ve spent learning the basics of driving and cash I’ve burned on driving lessons will all be reduced to the outcome of this exam that I’ll take. This is what I’ve been preparing for and I was really hopeful that I’d be able to get the license in one try.
Sarah and I met an hour early so that I could still do some practice driving before the exam. When I had already accomplished enough parallel parking and three-point turns, we decided to go then to VicRoads. I was 20 minutes early than my scheduled test when we arrived in the center. Good thing, there was no line in one of the counters so Sarah was able to approach it and ask if I can already have my test. The old Indian guy who was manning the counter told her that I can. With a nod from Sarah, I approached the counter. He was simultaneously filling-out the questionnaire while he was asking me some questions. He was quite nice. He told me that he will be my examiner for that test and I can already wait for him in my car.