today's thought: remind me to get my flooble back up.

<< reminisce envision >>

I passed my driving test!

Let me briefly go through how the test went.

I went, reported for the test. Had a few problems during the warmup at the ramp, probably due to the butterflies in my stomach. Alot was riding on this test, and I've taken a big gamble on it in more ways than one. The time came, and I went to the holding room. There were only 4 guys and twice as many females, probably proving that more guys pass on the first try. Never mind, today was the day. My tester, this time round, was a harmless looking but huge Malay, and I went about the task of proving that I was as safe a driver as a capable one, the latter of which I knew I had few problems with. So, everything went smoothly, as I cleared the obstacles in the circuit one by one. The road test began, and I had almost no problems, except at a left-turn filter lane where I got alil jumbled up with the gears. Aside from that, everything went without a hitch, and as I headed back to the driving centre, I knew I had a chance of passing. That was, until I realized that... Hey, I did not get to do a U-turn. At that point of time, I merely assumed all the different routes had a U-turn to them, and I feared, for a moment that I didn't get tested on it because the tester was going to fail me anyway.

I went back, calming myself down and not to worry, preparing to pull off whatever tricks I had in my bag to persuade the tester I was worthy of passing, including crying. Yes, crying. Tears are a women's best weapon, but when a man uses it, it becomes an atomic weapon. Call me a wimp, but I am not conscious enough to bother about public opinion when there is something I want badly, and will stoop at nothing to get it.

We sat down. Tester asked "Studying or working?" "Studying." "Oh, poly?" "No, university. Going to Australia, next year." "Aahh, ok." A few cursory ticks were placed, to award me 10 demerit points for the sake of awarding them. "Here you go, congrats." WEEEE! "Thanks alot, thank you." A broad smile worked its way across the corner of my lips. I made the neccessary announcements and my cerebral gears started to grind at the prospect of what I could do with this license.

Watched the video, and found out that roughly half of the candidates passed. Slight delay at applying for the license, but then things were done. The feeling was exhilirating; it was as if endorphins were coursing through my bloodstreams.

What was as stake was because I asked Zhirong to help me rent a car for a day, on the test date itself. If I failed, he can have the car for the day, but if I passed, I'll extend the rent all the way till Tuesday. The car was a pathetic Honda Civic, old and slightly outdated. Not exactly what I expected. But it'll have to do.

Let me first list out the survivors who were passengers in my reckless driving before I continue. I was of the opinion that now that I am a P-plate, not an L-plate, I had to ferret out all the bad habits of a L-plate. That includes having 2 hands on the steering wheel at the upper half of the wheel, checking blind spots ALL the time, not just when its necessary, giving signals ALL the time, doing nice perfect turns into the exact lane, and other stuff. Now I have my right hand on the lower right corner of the wheel to drive, and blind spots and signals are a rarity when driving at night.

In chronological order:

Yong Ann
Suin Yong
Suin Yong's friend
My mum
My brother
Xiaoqi's friend
My real maternal grandmother
Maureen's friend
Heng Swee
Seng Yong

That was a total of 19 lives, and adding my own in, 20 lives made it safely during the 5 days of horror I've been inflicting on the populace.

It was definitely an ego booster. I let myself indulge in the sheer egoistic act of just ferrying people around. It was fun, and I made no attempt to hide that fact. But let me go through what happened each day.

Right after the test, Zhirong drove his sister home, and then I took over at the helm and drove him to pick up Yong Ann. He then took over again, and drove Junsheng along as well to have yu tiao at Geylang. We finally got Yong Ann out, after he received that Christmas card I sent him. I think its his first time hanging out with his friends after that unfortunate incident happen. I shaln't elaborate too much on that, but suffice it to say that he definitely needed this. After we had dinner, which was my treat, of course, since I passed my TP, I drove Zhirong to City Hall, and Junsheng and Yong Ann to their homes. I talked to Yong Ann and asked him about his plans for the future. Hope he'll get better after that day.

And then I realized that I haven't made much plans for the festive season, because I thought that if I passed and had a car, I'll have plenty to do, but if not, I'll be sulking at home. I then decided to pick Suin Yong up at Orchard, although I kept telling myself to avoid Orchard and Geylang, the former for its confusing roads and heavy traffic, the latter for its sex-crazed drivers and pedestrians. Orchard was relatively quiet that day, although I had some trouble getting there, since the roads are mostly one-way. Annoying.

I expected that when I take over at the wheel, I'll experience a problem common of many new drivers: road-idiot. Somehow, when I saw others driving, they always seem to lose their way, and I would sometimes help to navigate. I had a slight problem of that at the start, but it wasn't as serious as I thought. I rarely referred to the street directory, preferring to rely instead on my sense of direction and willingness to go the wrong way just to learn. Getting to Orchard was harder than I thought, since I went through Bukit Timah road and via Sim Lim. At that point of time, Eng Neo Ave, Lornie Ave and Stevens Road were 3 exits which I couldn't tell the difference from each other on the PIE.

Oh yeah, this is an insert. Actually, when I got home to pick up CDs and stuff, I drove my mum and bro around for awhile, and went to top up the fuel. I made an embarassing mistake when I used my left leg to slam the brake, mistaking it for the clutch. Of course, it was an auto car, and had no clutch. By the way, I love auto cars, they are so much easier than manual ones. I think I'll just go with auto all the way, I prefer convenience over power.

Anyhow, I picked up Suin Yong and his friend, and went with him to Bukit Timah for supper. That's the first night of driving.

Next day, I picked myself up at 3 and prepared to go to church. It was Christmas Eve, and I had wanted to go to church all along. Drove Mum and Bro to Bukit Timah, the same spot, for dinner, at my mum's suggestion. Picked up my first summons for not displaying a coupon. And we were gone for only half an hour. Never mind. Only 30 bucks. We then proceeded to church. Its my first time in there for more than 2 years, and I can't help at marvelling how much has changed. I can't recognize the children there anymore, and so many of my age have not been in attendance as well. Lots of the ones I knew weren't around, but still I was remembered, and talked to. As the service started, I knew that some things never change. I remember all the hymms that were used every service, because they were so deeply ingrained in me. I was nearly moved to tears, because I realized that someday, I'm gonna regret all the time I spent away from God, and will make up for it seeking forgiveness. I dropped 20 bucks into the offering bag, only because I did not have a 50 with me, else I'll drop that in instead. No matter what, I have God to thank for blessing me with this good fortune. After the service was over, I mouthed a sincere prayer, and then left the church.

Some day, I know I'll return to God.

Enough of that. I dropped my bro off at home, then picked Suin Yong up for a spin. I then picked up Xiaoqi and her friend at City Hall, and then drove her friend and Suin Yong home. We then picked up Wanqing for supper, which was originally supposed to be at Bedok. I wanna have the famed minced pork noodles there so badly, but I went via TPE and ended up at Changi, so it was Fisherman's Village instead. That was all for Christmas Eve. Treated them to supper, yeah, I treat everyone.

Let me gush abit about Wanqing. Yeah, its no secret that I like her alot, but not in that way. Heck, its no secret that if I had a girlfriend like her, I'll be tremendously happy, but it's also no secret that I do not like her in that way, and that she's alot more fun as a friend. She's so cute. Cute cute cute cute cute. Just the sight of her puts a smile on my face, and her mannerisms and her speech and her appearance makes her sooooooooo lovable. I've always wondered why she isn't attached yet, because she really should get attached soon and stop tempting me to take a crack at it.

That was the second night of driving, and Christmas Eve.

Christmas dawn, and my mum wanted to have dinner, so I drove mum and bro down to a place in Jurong, near our church, opposite the old Tang Dynasty, at a small Japanese restaurant. They have this buffet at 28 bucks, and boy, was it delicious. Imagine freeflow salmon sashimi, unagi, chawanmushi, udon, tempura prawns, and other stuff. Yummy. Raw salmon tastes like raw salmon, but the tempura and the curry udon were absolutely delectable. I would wanna go back there again. My mum wanted me to drive to Orchard to look at the lights, and I had objected at first, knowing that traffic conditions would be terrible at this time, but in the end I relented and drove them there. I regretted that instantly as I got caught in a horrific jam that put my 2 day license to the test. I came out of it unscathed and better for the experience though.

Then my mum guided me to look my real maternal grandmother up. The story's a long one, but the short version of it is this: I have a real and a step grandmother, and they are sisters. My real grandmother got caught up in gambling, and went slightly insane over it, from the addiction. Somehow, they managed to trick my step grandmother than my real one was dead, and my grandfather married my step grandmother. In actual fact, my real grandmother is still living, and in horrible conditions. I finally got to meet her on Christmas Day, where she was a mess. She had a smell about her, and she hasn't eaten yet in days, we think. She's probably senile now, she didn't even care who were are, even after my mum introduced me and my bro.

It was alittle sad, since I had expected that she would at least give some semblance of recognition after seeing me, but nope. Half the time she was mumbling away incoherently and glancing around. We brought her out for dinner, and watched her eat, before driving her back. At first, I was thinking that she was an example of someone who has lost her humanity because of money, but in actuality, it's not because of money, but rather because of gambling. It's kinda saddening to think that in my maternal family alone, there are so many troubles. That grandmother is living with my eldest uncle, another outcast, who is also slightly psychotic. But I guess its beyond my abilities to help them right now.

After those, I dropped them at home, and then went to look Zhizhong up for supper, with prata. He's been working on the MTGO trading as well, and we chatted about stuff and chilled.

That was the third night of driving, and Christmas Day.

Sunday came, and Zhirong, Lennert and I had dinner at the old Turf Club. I had no idea it still existed, but it sure did, and was a sorry excuse for a place with its lost former glory. Lennert was griping about not being able to buy a 800 bucks LCD monitor, as it was out of stock. *sigh*, everyone has their own problems. He was acting like a spoilt young master, but nah, those who know him better than that know that he's hardly that kind of person. Lennert bought the PSTwo, a very compact version of the PS2, and I instantly fell in love with it. It'll make a great console to bring over to Australia.

After that, I drove around, looking for something to do. I went to pick Maureen up from her chalet and drove her home, since I decided that I wanted to really drive around on my own and explore the roads. Sure, it may be fun to drive someone around, but I'll like to drive on my own as well, since I could pull off more stunts without worrying that my hapless passenger is worrying. I had rough plans during this time: to drive to Changi Airport and Sengkang, and also to go to Fisherman's Village and Bedok. I decided to drive to Changi Airport, the long stretch of road around the runway, and gawd. I don't know why, but the place was so deserted, and I was just drivng, slowly, around 40 km/h or so, and it felt just great. I don't know why, but it just felt really comfortable. I guess it was because it's probably the only place in Singapore where you can see a large expanse of land without anything getting in the way. I could have fallen asleep while driving around the airfield. After that, I did a round around Changi Village, looking at the transvestites. Well, to them, a young man alone and driving is always attractive, and just in that round alone I've had one of the monsters blow a kiss at me. I got alil grossed out so I decided to leave. I wanted to make a final stop at the Old Changi Hospital, but I decided I really did not want to contend with the risk of having an unwelcome passenger making its way onto the car, so I headed for home.

That was the fourth night of driving.

Next day I ferried Suin Yong around abit, then I went to Yishun to meet Huijun. I haven't seen her for a long time, in fact, I've only seen her once. I helped her out with something, and drove her around abit. But hey, she's a more experienced driver, with 5 months of license compared to my 5 days old. And I haven't even gotten my license yet. She's become pretty pretty, and we chatted abit. Then I went to look Wanqing up to reclaim one of the cds I loaned her, and then had coffee with Xiaoqi. After that, I picked up Heng Swee for supper, and decided to head down to Bedok, to claim that elusive minced pork noodles that I never seem to have the chance to sample. Since Seng Yong lived there, we called him around as well. Damn, we reached there too late, because once again, I missed the noodles by the slightest of margins, seeing them closing down and packing up. DAMN! I swear I'll sample the noodles before I leave for Australia. I swear.

We then proceeded to Geylang for supper, and they wanted to take a look at the hookers, so I did a couple of rounds around the red light district. My attempts at tempting them were medicore at best. I swear I'll be condemned to hell for tempting others. It was at that spot where I saw her. Clad in black, sleek black, and so exposed. The man with her looked like he was incompatible: I felt that I was more qualified to be with her. Sleek, elegant, classy and beautiful, I couldn't keep my eyes off her. I nearly lost control of the car, nearly colliding into her in my lust and love. Right there, smack in the centre of vice, was a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet, in black. These cars are rare, and they can be considered to be my dream car. Seeing one in Geylang didn't seem right, but heck, if you had one of these, you can be seen anywhere. I'm gonna make my first car a Beetle, hopefully a convertible, but if not, a regular one didn't seem all bad.

We had frog leg porridge, one of my personal favourites. After which I sent them both back and myself as well.

That was the fifth night of driving.

Returned the car today. I was sorely tempted to extend the rent by 1 more day, but in the end, opted out of it. The fun's got to end someday, and I might as well end it. It felt crippling, but it had to be done. I have yet to sample the minced pork noodles and tried to get myself lost in Seng Kang. Anyhow, I needa remember to turn on and off the headlights at night. I always forget. Also, I think I have a pretty good sense of direction on the road. Somehow, its like I roughly know where I am relative to the place I am trying to get to, and whether if I need to turn or follow the road and whether if the road is leading me towards the rough direction of the destination.

So far, in the North, West and Central areas, the only place where my internal compass doesn't work is Ang Mo Kio. I always mess up the north and south there. Yio Chu Kang used to do that to me as well, but not anymore. In the East, I can only feel my way around places where I've been. Geylang, Bedok, and Eunos are 3 places where I have no problems navigating. As for Pasir Ris and Changi, I can roughly get to the more significant areas. Anywhere else and I'll probably be stumped, since I need to look at recognizable roads to get a sense of direction. Tampines was one area I didn't know where east and west was.

On the whole, its been a great 5 days with the car. I had alot of fun, and also did alot of meaningful things. Meeting up with Yong Ann, going to church, seeing my real grandmother, its been amazing. Now I'm throughly addicted to having a car. It's gonna be a must when I get to Australia, and when I come back, its gonna be another must.

In other news, I've not heard about the tsunami hitting South Asia, until people online's been telling me about it. Had no idea it was headline news. Someone on MTGO asked me about it, and someone on Astaria wished me well as well. Haha, I've been spending the past few days having fun that I was so far removed from current affairs. Oh well.

I finally got the Battle of Corrin, 3rd book in Dune. Thanks Ody for the gift!

Aside from that, I know I had one more thing to write about, but currently, I can't recall it. I'll update my buylist while trying to recall it then. PSP and PSTwo are both on my buylist now, but aside from that, there really isn't anything new I want to get.

ego driven
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004 @ 05:16
mood: egoist
current music: none really.