As you probably all know, Americans love big cars and the automatic-shift, a world completely different than ours, where we are drive city-cars with a manual-shift! Driving is something that scares many au pairs, but is fundamental because many families ask to have the kids driven at school or any afternoon activities. Here our first drives went:
Before driving I accompanied Li Shan many times from home to school and vice-versa to start learning route, and street’s rules. After a couple of days I decided to drive for the first on the way back home from school, without kids, to avoid put them in danger. Li Shan was very patient, told me some rules and a little bit at the time she told me the route and which lane I was supposed to keep. Luckily my car is a small SUV (a Subaru Forester), so even if double the size of my y, is not something huge that I can’t handle, plus is a little bit bashed and that makes me feel better. It obviously has the automatic-shit, so Li Shan had to taught me how to use it, and I have to drive with only one leg to not confuse myself. Even if I was a little bit anxious everything went fine and after a week I got more confident with streets and car. Luckily my highways are not as complicated as the ones in NJ and my Garmin is super easy to understand.
My first drive was with my host dad and a fully automatic Grand Cherokee.. not only the shift is automatic, the entire car is! Lights turn on by themselves, when it rains or snows the car tells you at what time it is going to stop and reminds you to be careful! Something unreal!
Anyway my first drive was in a supermarket’s parking lot (I specifically requested an empty space to avoid doing damages) and it went really well. There are only two pedals (breaks and accelerator) so you can’t go wrong, but in my case I don’t have handbrake like in Italy (a lever I have to pull) but a pedal I have to press and that causes me many problems because I always forget about it!
After I got a little more confident with the Cherokee, I drove an easy Mazda, not too big and not too high. The only problem I have until now are the highways. They are wide and spacious and there isn’t a lot of traffic, so you might wonder, why problems?
Because contrary to our highways, exits are either left or right and sometimes even one after the other, so it is really hard to understand where you have to go! Luckily I have a GPS, that however tells distances in miles, so at times I have problems understanding how long before the exit I have to take and therefore I got lost more than once.
Susa & Mapu