Thursday, December 04, 2008

Driver from India

I landed in US just 10 days ago. Right now am in Waukegan, this is close to Chicago. Public transportation is not available and when its cold here it's always sub-zero temperature.
Without a car you can't imagine life here. It's necessary.

I was trying to rent a car from almost 3-4 days, but was unable to do so. It was all because of dependency. I haven't driven a car in a road with a lot of traffic. Till now my experience with car was riding them on a plain playing ground or mostly on a road without traffic. Total experience of driving adding all may lead upto an hour.

Due to the dependency I was trying to get help from any of my colleague, so that they may drive with me upto the renting enterprise and then I may drive back under their guidance. Once you are in US or any onsite, people are helpful only if they know you. This has been my personal experience. I asked one of my colleague to accompany me. he was busy, another one just gave me a vague reply which am still unable to comprehend. One colleague agreed to take me to the place, there we waited for 30 mins, had coffee, eventually my car arrived. At this time my colleague said he got to leave, I really got irritated, I said fine.

Here I was now, 0 experience of driving and in one of the busiest traffic city I was going to try a car. I thought fine, worst I will bang someone's car so I will do it. I started it slowly and reached at the place where I had to cross the road to take a turn left. There was a divider, the left and right side of the road were not on same level. I overlooked and well my one tire was hanging on the other side of divider and rest three on the other side. Now I was pushing peddle to move forward it wasn't (thank god that it didn't else it would have really damged the vehicle) and it was not even moving backwards. I came out in a thinking mode what to do. I was not carrying cell (I dont have one till now). I was wondering what to do? I thought let Police Patrol come by, may be they will fine me but atleast they will take the car outta shit. Suddenly two man, came from nowhere and give me a helping hand. One of them said that put the vehicle in reverse, and we will push the car from front. I asked one of the man to steer the vehicle as I lost confidence which I was trying to build. He did it for me. We pushed the vehicle and it came out at last. I was already shaken by this and now I was supposed to take the car back to my office (Abbott).

I started driving really carefully, looking at each and everything, then also I think I missed a lotta rules. I tried to configure my GPS for the office (Abbott) but was unable to do so, later my friend told me that Abbott map is not available in GPS. Now I lost the track entirely, I was really slow, people were honking horns and I was always in the wrong lane. I was unable to stop the vehicle in between as I was worried of the huge traffic behind me. Finally at a place where traffic was somewhat less I reconfigured the GPS for my home address, the GPS showed the direction and I started for the way, real long way.

Very slowly, getting instructions from GPS and violating a lot of rules, I didn't even used indicator anywhere. GPS said for a left turn, I took it, then I realised I took it early. Retraced the whole path again, took the next turn left, GOD this was again wrong, retraced the same path again. Now I was in the right direction. Really slowly finally I reached my destination.

This was kind of stupid for me, as I really violated many rules and this could have been a loss of life or anything serious, am still shaken for this. I think I enjoyed it but, there was thrill am still shaken while writing this, but I will consider this as my achievement. Driving when you never drive.