After much preparation, the young self-proclaimed Emperor of The Han Dynastory is now serving a full-time mission to the UK with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He will return in 2014.


Welcome to the Han Dynastory!

As I am now serving a full-time mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have left this blog under the stewardship of a family member, who may post updates on how I'm doing as he/she sees fit.

Enjoy your stay!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Driving Test Woes

I passed my driving test today!

It was just my luck that I had to wait till after the lunch break and the Friday prayers (this being Malaysia) before I took the final part of my test - the on-the-road test. I was there since 8am. By the time I finished it was four.

I took the three stations in the morning. The first was the hardest and where most people who fail tend to mess up - climbing a slope from rest position. Basically, I had to drive onto a slope, stop at the tip (with the car still inclined), pull the handbrake, and through the tricky balance of pressing down the accelerator while releasing the clutch, climb over the peak by releasing the handbrake the moment I reach the right balance. I have friends who failed that station.

The next station was parallel parking. Thanks to the fact that we drive Small Little Kancils, and the idiot-proof "formula" that is used to ensure a pass in this station, I passed. The next station was the Three Point Turn, which was a breeze.

I must say, today was a field lesson on patience. I was sitting around for hours. Thank goodness 怡妃 was taking the test too. It's always great having old friends joining you in moments like these.

How shall I describe the on-the-road test? Perhaps it would suffice to say that it was more of a test of tolerance or conscious ignorance.

When I first got into the car, I started doing the necessary adjustments and checks.

"Are we going to stay here all day?" quipped the examiner in our National Language.

So the journey began, but not without his immediate comment on my slow speed. It is one thing to be warned by your friends in advance that most of the examiners are impatient and then mentally preparing yourself for it, but it is a whole other thing to actually feel someone next to you inflating when you're driving a car that you're not used to.

I had a few fumbles with the steering wheel later. The car I got was the newer version of the Kancil, so everything was more sensitive compared to what I had been practicing on. My examiner's sharp comments on lack of speed was eventually interjected with insults to my intelligence. The examiner's degeneration into a vicious, confidence-destroying speed talker was quite a surprise to me, because the examiner's colleague who gave me my first practical driving lesson had left a considerably better impression.

I still passed with a 17/20. (passing requires at least 16/20). I lost two marks to mistakes which I don't normally make when not under pressure. The other mark was for something I completely forgot about - starting the engine in free gear. I had been starting the engine in gear one in the past few days without realizing it.

I was compelled to wonder if all the examiners put up such a show during our road tests. After all, a good driver has to be able to put off emotional and psychological pressure while on the road. Maybe they're testing to see if we crack under pressure. Even if that is not their intention, it was a personal test to me.

For the record, I called it a test on ignorance because I ignored the examiner the whole time. I'd like to see who gets marked down for driving safely.

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