I decided today to learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission. When we travel abroad, only Douglas can drive. Every car we have rented in Portugal and Spain had a manual transmission. This means that even thought the reservations is in my name, Douglas is the only one who can drive the car, which then gets the credit cards all complicated.
The car I have reserved for us in Italy in May has a manual transmission. I assume they have automatic transmissions in Europe but have not been offered one. But if Douglas is hurt or gets sick in Italy, I cannot act to get us back to our temporary home. So, I need to learn to operate a manual transmission before we go.
I explained this to Douglas today and he didn’t seem so excited about the notion. He drives every time we go anywhere together, as I kind of make him nervous in my driving. It really is his nerves and not my fine driving skills, I am sure of that fact.
Part of his fear may be that I did not learn to drive a car until I was 50, and during my first try at driving, I passed out while driving 60 mph down the interstate. And I still don’t drive on the interstates. So, I would probably need to learn how to do that, too, as nearly everywhere you go in Europe seems to be by highway, with the speed limit needle at 120 kilometers per hour. Even going the speed limit, you must be in the right lane, for it seems Europeans consider the 120 kilometers per hour a suggestion.
I will admit that learning to clutch and accelerate at the same time may be difficult. I don’t even know if that is right, but you know what I mean. When Douglas drives in Europe, it amazes me that he knows when to change gears, but I usually know when he is about to do so. Hopefully that means that I am halfway to learning the skill.
I wonder if you have to clutch to go in reverse? Oh, well, I probably won’t need to put the car in reverse often. I just need to know how to drive forward. So, we have to find a friend with a car with a manual transmission who is willing to let us borrow it or rent one. But, I really think that all will be fine. Any tips would be appreciated!