When I first started learning how to drive in my teens, I used to gleefully floor the accelerator to speeds of 70kmh, even 80kmh, while my instructor gripped his seat and told me the only driving testers who liked my style were unfortunately testing lorry drivers at Tuas.
Fast forward 13 years on to yesterday. Yesterday was a significant day. It marked a new milestone in my driving after I relearned the skill. I finally hit a top speed of 50 kmh - my fastest ever since my refresher course. At 50kmh, I felt like I was flying. I felt so free. Whoopee, look at me! I'm the Queen of Speed!
This is surely a sign of age.
Nonetheless, I felt like my driving was in top form. I even navigated the road humps very smoothly, braking at the right moments so as not to send the car flying over the hump.
As I turned from the small lanes from which I was driving into the main road, I patted the Resident Bureaucrat's knee and said: "Don't you think my driving is improving by leaps and bounds?", and then my troubles began.
I needed to filter right to make a right turn, but there were so many cars all whizzing past me, I didn't know how I could do it.
"Can I filter now?" I asked the Resident Bureaucrat, in a state of semi-panic. My right turn was coming up rapidly.
In a misguided attempt to train my road judgement, he told me: "You see for yourself and tell me whether can or not?"
When your wife is panicking is not a good time to train her judgement on the road.
I shrieked: "Now can or not?????"
"What do you think?"
In the meanwhile, the endless stream of whizzing cars did not let up. And I really needed to filter right like in the next five seconds, but I was still in the outermost left lane.
I had visions of myself following the left lane indefinitely and ending up at the other end of Singapore because I couldn't make my right turn.
Even the Resident Bureaucrat was beginning to cold sweat.
He tried to help me by giving me unhelpful instructions such as "Okay now now, after this car."
So I put out a right signal by which time, the Resident Bureaucrat shouted: "Aiyah! Too late!!!"
So I retracted my signal. I was still in the outermost left lane.
Suddenly, the Resident Bureaucrat said sharply: "Okay, okay, now! After this car!"
"This one! Aiyah too late again!!! When I tell you 'after this car', you quickly filter!!"
"I donno which car you are talking about!"
"When I say 'this car', that means the car that just passed us!!"
"How I know!"
"You must learn to judge from the mirror!"
"So many cars!!!"
But finally, and in the nick of time, I did manage to filter right, thanks to some benevolent drivers who gave way to me. Or perhaps they were actually steering clear of me just in case I caused them to have an accident.
As I turned right into a less busy road, our heartbeats gradually went back to normal.
Slumped into his seat, exhausted by too much excitement, the Resident Bureaucrat muttered: "Your driving improved by leaps and bounds my foot. Filter lane also need people to see car for you."
The next day, he sent me a compilation of video clips of various women drivers accidentally crashing their cars into shopfront window displays, carpark gantries, wide open gates etc.
Very funny. Ha. Ha.