Keep Your Sanity: Learn How To Drive In Tight Spaces

(Image from Wendell on Flickr CC.)

Anyone who watches TV or listens to the news on the radio cannot help but mostly capture bad news. We crave for inspiring ones yet these news are all over: bad governance, overpriced ‘world-class’ buildings, questionable police integrity, bad celebrity role models, bad this and that, etcetera. Then there’s of course bad traffic jam. The good news is, we can do something about how we drive so as not to contribute to the ever worsening traffic. What we need is to learn how to adapt in tight situations.

Truth to be told, I have been driving for about ten years already but it was only last year when I learned how to drive in tight spots. Thanks to this cake that I had to get from a place with the narrowest streets I have been so far, so narrow that I almost turned back and decided to take public transport instead just to bring home the Ninjago-inspired cake for our son, Marcus.

Idling and weighing my options, with my right hand about to put the stick shift to reverse in surrender, I noticed that despite being tight several cars are parked on one side of the street. Unbelievably, none of those cars seem to have those tell-tale scratches. “How do the other vehicles able to get in and out of the place without sideswiping the others? Do they shrink or do they have soft fenders made just for this place?” I mused.

And then, as if to answer my question I saw one SUV drive out. It was quick, it was without any incident. If it fits, then my sedan can too. There was hope.

After making sure that there are no more vehicles I commit to drive and make my way through. As I have expected, it wasn’t easy. But to cut the story short, I got the cake and made way back. How did I fare? Well, it took me almost 30 minutes to get in and out of the rather short distance.

Driving out was harder because I have to back up and turn around—back to the same narrow street. The 2-point reverse maneuver didn’t work, not even 4-point. Almost static, my hands, feet, and eyes got busy—clutch, shift, gas, mirror, clutch, shift, gas, mirror— just so I can squeeze the car out without leaving any dent on it and the other cars parked nearby. By the way, I had to fold one side mirror just to be sure.

Other than getting out unscathed, that stressful experience improved my depth and width perception.  In fact, I have had fewer encounters of what I once consider near misses. Inner two-way roads have worried me less and have lessened my urge to honk my way through. (Lately, whenever I honk, it’s just force of habit—a bad habit that I hope to correct soon.)

To drive comfortably and confidently in tight spaces is a skill to be had to keep our sanity. Especially with the fast approaching holiday everyone should anticipate worse (or worst) traffic. People, cars, and other types of vehicles will have to be dealt with because tight traffic will become tighter, slow will become slower but with a better driving skill these shouldn’t be a problem. Happy and safe driving everyone!

***

Yesterday, we fell victim to another bad traffic–and bad time management. We were supposed to attend a baptismal celebration just to find out that we took the route where Maynilad have extended their water pipe overlaying project. Wifey and I ended getting a massage in SM Bacoor with Marcus left to play with other kids in a  pay-per-hour playground.

Yes my son, The Ninja Turtles don’t like donuts.

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Had cereals for breakfast. One that Marcus got tired eating.)

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Author: crisn

I'm Cris Nacionales from the Philippines.

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