Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

My FIRST Driving Lesson!

Before I start, congratulations Ivy for releasing her new WordPress theme! :razz:

Nanyate.com Nanyate.com by Ivy
Ivy’s busy schedule didn’t keep her away from designing a Yukata-inspired WordPress theme for her blog. I must say that she had a excellent grasp of colour theory – she mixes pink and blue, the two unseemingly cooperative colours, so well in her new theme. She uses PNG alpha transparency to give her content and sidebar containers a unique transluscent texture over the dark background – and I love it! Although it doesn’t work well for people using IE6 or below, I believe she’s made the right choice. You should really just dump IE6 for something more performative like Firefox or Safari. Wake up!

I salute Ivy’s bid to make all her designs blind-friendly, XHTML and CSS 2.1 valid. Kudos for going that extra mile, Ivy!

My FIRST Driving Lesson!

Well, I can say that it’s a total nightmare! The driving instructor, a very nice lady, called up yesterday to say that she’ll coach me for two hours today. Just arrived at 3pm, picked me up from home and took me to a rather busy industrial area and taught me the basics of driving. This is probably when I start to hate manual cars – in the past, I only know that what sets manual and automatic cars apart is that one requires you to chnage gear when stepping on the clutch while the other does it for you automatically (well isn’t that obvious from it’s name).

Driving a manual car requires a long attention span, a whole lot more patience and a sturdy feet. You’ll need to step on the clutch real hard to change gear – the car I was being coached in was in a dire condition and I’ll need to step on the clutch real hard to change gear. Thus the car stalled twice when I didn’t muster enough strength for my weakly left foot. When you are about to start, you’ll have to step on the clutch (Step on it hard!!! I kept reminding myself), switch from whatever gear to the first, tap the accelerator slightly (for that cranky car the accelerator was out of it’s mind and upon the slightest touch the car was revving up like crazy), release clutch very very slowly (or the car will stall) and there you go.

The instructor kept her foot on my left foot because she said I’m not stepping hard enough. Well I should be more gentle with your car I thought. I screwed up the sequence at the first left turn and the car stalled again – I stepped on the brake too hard and when I was about to start again, I forgot to step on the clutch to switch back to gear one. Grrr. She told me the sequence and I repeated it to myself, doing it every single time I make a turn.

And then since it’s 4pm already, the nearby school has it’s classes all over and those short little primary school kids are running across the road like, what mom describes, monkeys on the loose. My hands immediately broke out in cold sweat for fear of running over an innocent, roaming seven-year-old even before completing my first ever driving lesson. And when I braked too hard, the car will stall again (because of the damn clutch!) and I’ll have to repeat the sequence to myself like a madman.

The lady instructor, albeit being a very patient and helpful lady, insisted that I should go try the expressway (I was like, WHAT?! It isn’t even 30 minutes into my FIRST time driving something that moves – besides my bicycle, that is). I couldn’t say no. I was so nervous to forgot to apply the brakes even when we approach those irritating, rough, and badly-placed road humps (the local town council gained notoriety for building too many road humps back then) and the car felt as if it’s going to freaking fall apart. Luckily it didn’t.

On the expressway, the cars behind me were either tailgating me dangerously (I wish I could brake, have them smash into the car and get them to pay my instructor to get a better car that has more foot-friendly clutch) or overtaking me and then staring back me at like I’m in a zoo exhibition container. Whatever. And when the instructor told me to change gear (because I was going over 40kmph at the third gear), she pusher her finger against my cheeck and said, Don’t look down, try changing gear without looking at it. I was so mentally-unprepared! Luckily she guided my hand with hers and the transition went on smoothly… until when we started to climb up this flyover when the engine starting coughing and the whole car started to jerk.

After the flyover she asked me to pullover at the road shoulder and found a loose wire in the engine. She fixed it but offered to drive me back, saying that it’s enough training already… and I was only an hour into the two hour course. Okay so before dropping me off at my gate she told me that the next lesson will be at 7.30am next Wednesday and I was like WHAT?! 7.30am?!

One good thing that came out of it – I’ve learnt to drive, a little :razz:

Note to self: I still owe Hendra a Photoshop tutorial! I’m sorry for being so late, but I’m busy lately. Give me a little more time yea?

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