It has been a long time since I learned to drive. Shall we just leave it at having had a license for well over a half century? Or learning to drive on a tractor which means that I grew up assuming that driving and standard transmissions were the norm.
This is obviously not the case for either those who grow up in US inner cities where both cars and driving are out of reach. The same goes, but for different reasons for those who grow up in Europe. Germany, where my offspring spent most of their years increased the driving age from 16 to 18 more than two decades ago. Not that this was an issue for the average German teenager since the price of mandatory drivers education, much less the ownership of a car was out of economic reach for just about all of them. The secondary affect was that DoDDs schools stopped offering Driver’s Ed as part of the school curriculum since Status of Forces Agreement would prohibit the testing and licensure of any US family members below the age of 18. A compromise, which enabled those who already had a US Stateside license to continue driving as long as they could pass the mandatory written test enabled a few drivers at age 16. Not seeing any need for any of mine to drive, I didn’t see the need to send kids to the US over a summer just so that they could learn to drive.
The end result of all of this is that the Eldest got her license (stateside) at age 26 but really didn’t do any significant driving till around age 30. None of the younger three have ever gotten a license.
All of which goes to explain why, at 0600 on a Sunday morning I was at the North Berkeley BART Station as a passenger to Daughter #2 while we did the Bunny Hop around the parking lot. The two choices for early on a weekend morning fall into public lots and mall lots. Since the BART station was closer, that is where we went.
I did mention that our small VW hatch back has a standard transmission?
It makes for a much steeper learning curve than I remembered. But then, a tractor which creeps along towing the hay flatbed for days on end is not exactly a high pressure environment and one can stay in first gear for a long long time. A parking lot which turns out, as much of the land here does, to have a slight slant means using clutch, break and gas peddle from the beginning. A parking lot also doesn’t require extensive use of turn signals, a real advantage.