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My daughter's first driving lesson and my own memories

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Suddenly the time had come. My daughter, who turns eighteen in December, had her first driving lesson. She already had some experience with motorized transport, because I regularly saw her riding a scooter clandestinely. But behind the wheel of a car, that feels different. The first time actually driving, the first step to automotive freedom and real dynamism, that is a special experience for many. Just as it is special for a father to see his daughter driving a car for the first time.

I thought back to my own first car miles. I learned in a Nissan Bluebird 2.0 SLX from Martin Rutte at the end of the eighties. I remember that those first few lessons in the Nissan were exciting for me. But soon I entered a phase where self-confidence got the upper hand. I regularly heard statements next to me like gas off, light braking.

“Indicating the direction of travel was not part of my system. The driving instructor solved that in his own way. By consistently putting his hand out of the window. ”

The steering techniques and sequence of actions were also regularly and repeatedly brought to me. This was done in a strict, but beautiful way. Indicating direction did not enter the system quickly either. When I forgot to touch the lever of the direction indicator again, a window opened to the right of me. The driving instructor then reached out of the open door window and just looked at me without saying anything.

Developing your own driving style was not an option during the lessons in the Nissan. In the end everything turned out fine, and I was allowed to take the driving test with the Nissan. I knew people who regretted failing, but then accepted their resit with a shrug. For me, passing was a big deal, I had dreamed of my own driver's license since I was a toddler. It had to and would be done in one go. After more than twenty lessons, the time had come. Almost then, because the last lesson before the exam was a real horror.

"Bazzoni will be an examiner next Tuesday, and I'll tell you now: he has a willing right foot."

During the dress rehearsal I fell well below the lower limit. And driving instructor Rutte was baffled by my relapse. If you drive like this, we might as well call off the CBR. Because Mr. Bazzoni is the examiner, and I'll tell you now: he has a willing right foot. In other words: you have an intervention in no time.

I did not let myself be told that again. The advantage was that I had to drive off in Den Helder on Tuesday morning. At ten past half past ten. No chicken on the street, because half of Den Helder was at sea. But I knew: that is where the danger lies, so concentrate. I got the driver's license in one go, I still had a bridge with it and there was not much time for the driving test. The following candidates were already waiting. Everything went well, and when I saw a grinning Rutte in the waiting room reach out to me, I knew enough. The paper was in, also thanks to the lessons that my father gave me in a clandestine way. Those were the most beautiful rides, for me also the definitive steps towards driving skills and a milestone in my life. Because I dreamed of driving myself since I was a toddler. And in Den Helder came the reward for patience.

“My daughter turned out to have paid attention during her first driving lesson. Her corrections of my driving style immediately took me back to 32 years ago. ”

Those reflections flashed through my mind as I took my daughter away for her first driving lesson. I thought back for a moment to the big smile on her face when she sat in the Beetle and I started the engine, a long time ago and feeling back so recently. And now my daughter was going on her first miles as a motorist. How will it go, can she concentrate, is she nervous. We arrived at the driving instructor, and a Yaris Hybrid was ready on the Emmakade in Leeuwarden. With an L on the roof. This should have been the case, I thought as a Toyota fan.

I said goodbye to my daughter, wished her luck and picked her up again one and a half later. I decided to pick her up on the Starlet and drove out of the neighborhood. And suddenly I saw it: the Yaris Hybrid in which my daughter covered her first kilometers was driving in front of me. For example, I was unintentional and completely coincidental to witness my daughter's first kilometers as a motorist. Later she told how much she liked it. She also corrected me a few times, like driving instructor Rutte used to do. Memories. My daughter, she learned the first tricks of driving. The next step in her life has been taken. She has had her first driving lesson. And she will soon also manage in traffic. I am proud. And the letting go has begun.


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  1. What a nice story again. Memories ……… .. My first lesson with Van Buuren from my The Hague. I had a school package with them. X number of lessons with two or three evenings of theory at the Pletterijkade. On my bike to it. I passed the theory in one go, certainly thanks to the evenings.
    Practice? In two times. The special thing about this: I failed due to a knoert of a priority error on the Landscheidingsweg. I certainly succeeded thanks to my bold intervention on a right of way error by another motorist on the same Landscheidingsweg, near Duindicht.
    I had already bought my Kadett City SR, but driving around without a driving instructor turned out to be no picnic the first few times. I went out with the City, first the (city) road map.

  2. I had already had my motorcycle license for five years when my, then, girlfriend took driving lessons and I joined for fun. I had a chronic argument with the driving instructor about traffic insight. I didn't look good enough because I had seen things for a long time etc. Fortunately I got my car driver's license in one go because my examiner's father also drove a Harley and went to Spain on it so we had enough to chat during the exam. I had more experience on the highway than in the city, but I had the paper. If I had failed, I probably would never have tried again because I already had my motorcycle license.

  3. @Erik. Probably M. Rutte no longer has an active memory of the Nissan and your relapse. (Just kidding 😀)
    I was from driving in the harsh winter of 1979. Between all cancellations I was lucky, I could just finish a day without a snowstorm. And because it was administrative at the CBR also quiet, I had my pink paper at home super fast. Now get over that.

  4. Well, that went in 1959, when I got my driver's license, a bit different than now. I bought a subscription for 10 lessons for 55 GULDEN. Because it took a long time before I could drive, two more separate lessons of NLG 6, -. So quoted for 30 euros converted. The traffic was considerably less busy at the time, but when I had to enter the second lesson in the semi-dark Rotterdam, I came home with a wet back. The large driver's license was, by today's standards, even stranger. I learned in an Opel Blitz truck, where a concrete block on the back provided the desired 3500 kg weight. I got the coveted extension on my pink slip of paper in one lesson and was then allowed to hit the road with the largest buses in the coach company where I worked at the office. This was also allowed with a truck, with or without a trailer. Now get over that.

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