Saturday, 10 July 2010


I don't drive.

In fact, I CAN'T drive.

I don't have a licence. I've never had a lesson. I've never applied for a provisional licence, or studied for a theory test, or looked longingly at a car and said "that's the car I want to get one day once I have my licence."

On the occasions this comes up in conversation, it tends to be met with open mouths or "You're kidding?" comments, or queries about whether I'm learning or have failed my test or when I intend to START driving?

At the moment, I never intend to learn.

I honestly don't see the need. I never have.

I grew up in a town in an area where everything was accessible to me by foot. My school. My library. The train station which led to Glasgow (albeit in 25 minutes). The pubs I couldn't really get into.

My parents, despite both being able to drive, are big walkers. So I guess that is part of the reason why I DO like to walk as much as possible, it's just the way I was brought up. I am not much for walking just for the sake of it, but if I can get in some exercise by walking from my place to the shops, or to work, I will do so.

In fact, my round trip to work and back is between 4 and 5 miles. Every day. Suck on THAT.

(I should stress that, apart from the occasional taxi - if weather is extreme or I'm supremely hungover - or a lift from a friend - that I'm always walking it. Let's estimate 98 % of the time. Go me.)

There are only a few times when my lack of being able to drive proves a hindrance. And that would really just be the times when I'm off-site in work (not going to be a problem anymore anyway), or when you're at the mercy of someone giving you a lift back from somewhere further afield - they get to decide when you leave and you just have to go along with that.

Now THAT sucks, but apart from that . . . it's all good.

In addition, not one member of my family passed their test first time. In fact, it took both my sister and brother multiple attempts to pass. And although my brother now uses the family car to drive to work (and occasionally drive me back to Glasgow after I've been over in my hometown visiting), I don't think my sister has driven a car since she was sent her licence all those years ago.

I don't handle failure pretty well and it seems fairly inevitable that I WOULD fail at least once before I managed to pass.

Driving lessons are expensive. As is sitting (and re-sitting again and again!) the test. Then you have to buy a car. Pay for tax. Pay for insurance. Pay for petrol. Pay for parking.

Money money money.

Money I don't have. And if I did, I'd far rather spend it on a house.

Or, you know, other practical stuff. Like clothes. And books. And rose wine.

And speaking of rose wine, driving would mean less of that. (Me no likey that thought.)

But here's the clincher. Here's the reason you REALLY don't want me to ever consider learning to drive. You know how I suffer from extreme pavement rage pretty much anytime I leave the house? The anger I experience when someone stops really suddenly in front of me so I nearly run into them, or how when a cyclist nearly runs me over on the pavement I'm really tempted to push them over?

I'm worried this has the potential to translate into even WORSE road rage. Like if someone cut me up, I'd probably start to shake and sweat, and steam would come out of my ears and I would turn into some Incredible Hulk Paula person and expand in size and just burst right out of my car and start stomping around the street and picking up other cars and flinging them around in my anger.

I think I'm starting to get confused with King Kong here, aren't I?

But would you really want to witness that???

I think it's better for all concerned if I continue to be a pedestrian, don't you?

Okay, that's what I'll do. Thanks for your understanding. :)

Driving. Do you drive? CAN you drive? Do you have a licence but just don't drive anyway? Are there any licence-less people out there like me? Or am I all alone? (Waaahhhh!!!) So many questions...

PS There's a chance I'm still drunk from last night. This may have came across in this post. For that, I don't apologise. It's more fun this way. :)


  1. Living on an island, I just can't imagine not being able to drive... I spent 17 years not able to drive, and that was more than enough! It's so hard to be independent here without a car - it IS expensive, but well worth it. I cheated a bit tho - my Dad was a driving instructor so I didn't have to fork out for lessons!

  2. I think you have a great reason not to drive - everything is in walking distanec! That's how it is in New York City.

    I have to drive because nothing is in walking distance for me. Not even the grocery store. So driving is a necessity.

  3. ugh, driving. necessary in the suburbs, a complete pain in the ass in the city - i have a car now, in queens, a borough of nyc - and im thinking of getting rid of it. you're right, gas, tolls, and insurance are all very high, and for something that is, in essence, a luxury, as public transportation CAN get you where you want to go...even if it could take quadruple the time. decisions, decisions...

  4. Yeah the money thing is LAME but my work is a half hour drive away. Not walkable sadly.

  5. I do drive, but can I drive? Well that's up to who you talk to.
    My great-gran didn't drive...ever. Her husband wouldn't let her. My grandmother doesn't drive (she has an anxiety disorder that prevents her from doing so.) So you're not alone...there just aren't very many of us American ladies who don't drive now days. We're a lazy breed. :/

    Now if it weren't absolutely necessary to actually get somewhere (say if I lived in a large city where I could walk/take public transit) I would not drive. That's why I'm pushing for Denver when B leaves the AF. :)

  6. Funnily enough I went to my parents' today to swap my passport for my new provisional licence as ID (cheaper to replace a lost provisional than a lost passport, I believe) - and although I've told Dad that I'm not actually in a hurry to learn, he's told me that he'll pay for 10 lessons for me if I pay for my theory test.

    I'd rather spend the money on other stuff at the moment, to be honest! Plus if I learned to drive I don't trust myself not to go off somewhere and decide not to come back lol


  7. Driving is my exit, I love it! It calms me down, makes me dream and allows me to breathe when I panic. I dont know what I would do without my car.

  8. I drive. I love independence so I loved driving right from the start. I don't think I'll be driving once I move to Singapore though, too expensive and there's no need. But right now, there absolutely is a need. Nothing's within walking distance, and public transportation is still a 30 minute drive from our house. I think the amount of driving people do (or is considered necessary) has a lot to do with municipal planning.

  9. I learned to drive my senior year of high school. Once I got my license, I had no desire to drive. Ever! My parents got sick of driving me everywhere so they decided to buy me a car that I had no say in and that I would pay them back for. The car they bought me was a major piece of shiz and I can't believe they thought something that butt ugly and unsafe would be a good car. My dad to this day likes to tell me what a great little car it was! Um, it really wasn't. The next car I got on my own and I loved it and actually cried a bit when I got rid of it for a brand new car. Quickly got over that though.

    I love to drive just for the independence it gives me. Plus for a good portion of my working life, I worked like 45 miles from home. I could carpool with someone and sometimes did but there wasn't a bus or a train I could take. I could take a taxi for $50 each way but that didn't seem very cost-effective.

    I used to walk a lot. Then I got the car and I quit. Now I can't walk for a long period of time or for very far and miss it.

  10. I drive, but I live in a rural part of Rhode Island. It's about eight miles, one-way, to the nearest grocery store, so yeah, I can't imagine not learning how to drive.

    However, I do know people who grew up in places with mass transit (Providence, Boston, New York City) that never got their license, or didn't until they were in their early 20s. If are in a place with limited parking, yeah, that kind of makes driving impractical anyway.

  11. I do not have my licence. Last week bf who will be teaching me (now that's scary, I get mad when I fail to learn, hello relationship!) how to drive and I attended an introductionary class to driving of sorts (mandatory) and I was the only one over the age of 16 that was there without a licence.


    I will admit that if given the choice to either ride in a car or walk, I mostly choose the car.

  12. You have to drive if you live in Austin. I work 12 miles from my house but there's no bus that goes there and 12 miles is too far to ride a bike in 100 degree weather. Took me 3 times to pass the driving test. All because I couldn't parallel park. Guess what - still can't parallel park. I manage just fine without it. If i lived someplace with a really good transit system I probably wouldn't drive either. Lucky you!

  13. I just got my license last year when I was 24! I waited forever! I drive the bfs car when I need it, otherwise he still takes me everywhere lol BUT it does help that I can drive, legally =D

  14. I drive and love to drive. But when I had to commute back and forth to work I experienced road rage quite frequently as there are many people out there who should not be driving at all! But once I moved to Providence, I only drive on the weekends now because my work is only a 15 minute walk for me...I could take the trolley or bus but why spend the money when I can walk? And yes, I walk to work in all sorts of weather, including snow!

  15. Driving is pretty necessary where I live. We do have public transportation and my town's bike friendly, but even these options don't always work.

    But, I didn't get my license until I was 19, which is extremely unusual for an American!

  16. I can't drive and don't think I ever will. I did try, and failed 3 tests when I was 17/18. Then I started Uni and couldn't afford any more lessons, and ever since, I've just not been interested. For the money you spend on lessons, the car, insurance, petrol, tax etc I just don't think it's worth it. Plus, walking everywhere keeps me fit (well, fitter than I'd be if I drove!)

  17. I think its cool you walk everywhere. I try and walk to the grocery store if I don't need much. That's pretty much the only thing within walking distance of my house though or else I'd walk so much more.

  18. what the fuck?! there - i said it. i'd die if i couldn't drive. it is my therapy, my freedom.


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