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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Features |
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Rants On Driving

Let’s talk about anxiety and driving for a hot minute.

Now I grew up driving in Hamilton, and the Hamil-hole provided some excellent space for crafting up my skills and doing wheelies. This being said, upon moving to Wellington, I missed the freedom of driving everywhere. Needless to say, I grew to love walking around Welly and exploring the city that way, following my nose when I got lost, finding hidden hideaways and cute parks.
Boy oh boy, did I not know what I was in for when finally, in my third year of uni, I borrowed a mate’s car to drive around. You know that moment when you don’t realize how blessed you were growing up? When everything in life gets put into perspective? Well that was me when I drove in the one-way street hell that is Wellington. It made me thank my pretty little stars that I’d grown up learning in the safety of my hole. Had it not been for the Tron, as abused and dismal as it is, without it I’d never have learnt how to drive (props to you, man!). Had I been in Welly in my blissful youth, I would probably be grouped in that pathetic bunch who still have their learner’s at 21.
Now let me tell you about my first time driving in Wellington. I’d just dropped a forever-in-my-debt friend to the train station (we all know her little legs couldn’t get her there fast enough). Heading up The Terrace, I played the oh-so-fun game of “student crossing”, where a confident student jaywalks across path of a deadset driver, leaving the driver with two options: either A) get a strained neck from turning it so fast looking for potential idiots, or B) drive at a decent speed and pray to God that they have some public decency. We all know I’m driver A.

I thought it’d be a grand old time to test the car and take it up Aurora Terrace, one of the steepest hills in Wellington. Long story short, I chickened out cause all I could see was the sky and turned onto the left, a lovely flat street, but little did my blissful heart know I was heading towards my doom. Where was my mind, who knows. Happily in the clouds. It took a sane driver beeping at me for five minutes to jolt me into reality. I had my right indicator on, and I was about to turn onto two lanes of oncoming traffic. I’d never thanked God so sincerely in my life. With fear sweat prickling my back, I did my best casual wave of thanks to the driver, reversed a little, and took my sorry little butt home.
Every. Single. Time. I tell myself, “never again!”. And yet what does my forgetful mind do? It dims down the agony and momentarily slips for a second, forgetting the way my heart rate skyrockets when I get honked at, or when rude taxi drivers don’t know how to pull into a park with decency and courtesy to their surroundings.
There should be a University support group for first time drivers in Wellington. My poor soul isn’t coping well. Or maybe I’ll start up an Abstinence Club for those trying to kick the habit of those indulgence rides.
I’ll leave you with a final rant to unnamed smirk guy. I’ve never felt so utterly humiliated than that time I had to reverse down a street cause you wouldnt pull into the left. I hope you burn the top of your mouth on your fiery curry tonight, cause that’s the state you left me in. Hot, bothered, and biting my tongue in resentment.

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this