February 26, 2011

The only clutch I know is a handbag.

If you ever rented a car in Italy, you would know that an automatic can get very expensive to rent. You pay almost double for the convenience of being alert while the crazy Italians try to run you off the road.

In my preparation for Italy, I thought it would be a great idea to sign HD and I for a private lesson in driving a manual car. So on Saturday afternoon we head off to Brooklyn driving school in the very neighborhood that I was born in. After our 45 min train ride we arrived in Bensonhurst. I decided to let HD go first so that I could
sit in the back seat and pay attention to our instructor.

HD is definitely the one who always understands direction and is very efficient as a person so I had faith that he we grasp it quickly. We each had 45 minutes to learn about how to use a clutch and practice driving. I had high hopes that he would be a natural like Mario Andretti and I could spend the rest of our trip in the passenger seat.

I started getting nervous when his time was up and he was visually spent from our lesson.

Now it's my turn. I can do this! This will be easy! Even a monkey can do this! I will be a natural too. Well friends, let me tell you.....

I wasted the first fifteen minutes trying to figure out why I couldn't get the clutch down all the way. Was my leg so out of shape that I could keep it down? Am I too short? Do I have to hold the clutch down with all my weight? How can I be a safe driver if I have to jump on the clutch every time I need to shift? Finally when I thought I had figured it out because I was shifting gears and keeping it idle at red lights. My instructor who was the true definition of patience had to endure more of my battle with the clutch. Maybe My leg was out of shape or I really am a automatic girl who likes using one foot to drive while the other is resting on the dashboard.

I don't really know and I will not know until I make another appointment to try again. Hey if everyone else can do it, including monkeys, than so will I. But, If I can't after the second try, the only clutch that belongs in my life will be a handbag.

February 24, 2011

Our Florence apartment

We just secured this apartment from May 25th to June 25th. I can't wait to sit in the garden drinking coffee and studying my Italian.