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Friday, June 06, 2008

Driven to Distraction: From Slow & Intense

This week has been particularly interesting as far as driving on the road is concerned. After five hours, I was given a new instructor, who started last week. A DVLA-trained instructor, it appeared he was instrumental in saving the driving school from being another victim of the Ghana's mass-closure of DVLA to root out bad and unregulated schools in the country. His stories are not for here, except to say that he's a vivacious and interesting character whom I'd like to see more of to help train me further in my driving.

He wasn't particularly happy with the way I started the car. Though I was able to move with the clutch and accelerator in tow, he lamented my speeding, and the need to curb it.

The Steering wheel is another place he gave me grief for. He felt I held it too tough, as if I was going to war or something, so he's slowly and surely encouraged me to hold it lightly. The lighter I hold it, the more control I can get of the car. It's been my second week with him, and I can see the effects. It enables me concentrate more on the road and anticipate more--something both the folks and Joseph alike have inculcated into me.

On Wednesday, I was able to endure the infamous and legendary road in Accra that is known as the Spintex road, and its traffic with a new instructor who stepped in in place of Joseph. The half-clutch/break combination was not easy at all! The more I do it, the better I shall become. On Tuesday, it had rained rather heavily. As such, it was darker than usual for that time of evening (around 6.15pm). The experience was useful in helping me get used to driving in those conditions, what with the potholes and all, and the badly-lit roads.

Monday saw me hitting the the airport residential area of the capital--not by my own choice. We were to drop off a driving instructor colleague who wanted to meet up with his sister, so we passed through the infamous Tetteh-Quarshie interchange past the Polo Club, past Airport shell and back onto the road from 37 northbound to Tetteh-Quarshie. It would be the first time I ventured that side since I started practicals. The half-clutch was tricky, and the car went off a couple of times. My gear-changing has improved considerably, though Joseph suggested I drive without putting my hand near the gear as it distracts.

No driving today. But better things to come--for sure!!

Two weeks ago, a play on BBC World Service play (that airs on Sunday nights at 22h00 GMT) called The World According to Charlie D introduced me to erotomania, a disorder that the protagonist in my novel will probably suffer from.

Seriously intense feelings for a married colleague that surfaces every now and then have reminded me about the shades of grey that make up the human condition.

I have chosen to transform those feelings positively into building a friendship that is unique and unobtrusive. That's the best I can do.

She's married. There's nothing I can do about it.

I think about her too much. That's something I can do something about lest it jeopardizes my beautiful relationship with my lovely and caring girlfriend...

Have a great weekend!

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