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Driving Lessons

One of the targets I have to achieve one way or another this year is finally getting the driving license. It might not sound tremendously strange for everybody, especially in other parts of Europe and the world, to say I don’t have a driving license even though I’m 23 years old, but in Italy, with the quite disappointing public transportation system, it is a bit of a problem. In particular I also live quite outside of town, and going around from here without a car is basically impossible.

I kept myself from getting a driving license for five years because the one time I tried I failed, and then other stuff piled up (work, health), and it got moved down in the list of priorities. Since right now my health seems to be stable again, it was promoted again back to a high priority (and following that there is “moving out”; I know it’s the Italian stereotype that guys stay at home till their thirties, and I’d very much like to break it).

Also, thanks to the fact I’m now a self-employed freelancer, with a proper VAT number, being able to move around means also being able to have more customers, and thus a more stable income if something happens with the current “so-called crisis” (I say “so-called” because at least around here it really doesn’t feel like there is one).

While I did take quite a few driving lessons when I tried the first time (and still remember the basics about driving), I do need to refresh my driving before I can take again the practical exam. Since the official lessons with the school aren’t cheap, a couple of friends of mine “volunteered” to help me out (in the sense that they are actually forcing me to be helped, but that’s a different story). Of course, though, I don’t really feel like refreshing with their car for long, so I’m looking into alternatives.

Following my friend’s advice, I ended up ordering Gran Turismo 5 Prologue for the PlayStation 3 (since I already have and use it, and the game is quite cheap on Amazon UK, trying it out to see if I can get to listen to the engine’s revving up should be at least some kind of beginning for what I have to do); it . I also started looking into the option of getting a wheel and try with that until I can afford myself a cheap care (deemed to be ruined by my driving practice) before I can get my license.

Unfortunately almost all my friends seems to thwart my idea of getting an automatic drive, or at least to take the exam with one (in Italy, by taking the exam with an automatic drive car, you get a limited license that disallows you from driving manuals), which I would have hoped would help me coping with one less factor. As childish as it might sound, getting some practice with a game is still something (after all, I can testify that playing games after a while let you do some actions out of habit without thinking about them, and that I guess is what I should do about the manual shift).

Unfortunately seems like the only wheel, compatible with PlayStation 3 and GT5, is the Logitech G25, that doesn’t come cheap (€350), which is a bit of a problem, given that I never liked racing games before (on the other hand, I’d probably have to learn to like them given that I’m not likely going to drive all day every day to get used to the car). I guess I’ll wait till I get GT5, and if I fancy the idea I’ll consider that. In the mean time I should be able to work hard enough to afford that as well.

Oh and yeah, this shows how much of a geek I am.

Comments 2
  1. Automatic cars are for people that cannot drive ;)Good luck with your drivers license!

  2. 1) I strongly disagree with the previous comment. An automatic allows you to pay attention to what you should really pay attention to. Which is the traffic instead of whether or not your engine is about to stall because you missed switching gears. Gears are especially annoying in very busy traffic in a complete unknown big city. Ask your friends how comfortable they are with driving in very big unknown cities, which is especially fun in other countries when you don’t know the unwritten rules for that specific country.I have driven both manual and automatic and currently own an automatic. I sincerely doubt I will ever drive a manual again. If you feel more comfortable with an automatic….just do it. Getting your license extended to a full one if needed is much easier once you can drive.2) Note that the technicalities of driving are relatively a minor part of getting your license. It mainly is about knowing what to do in traffic and the instructor has to be sure that you pay attention to the traffic around you. As a result I doubt a racing game is going to help you much to be honest.

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