-I've just signed up for an intensive summer course at a local driving school! It was a lot of money, and my parents could've taught me for free 14 years ago. But 14 years ago I was pretty sure that I wanted nothing to do with cars: they pollute, the roads are bad for wildlife and for the water table, sprawl is innefficient for electricity as well as global warming, etc. But swearing to have nothing to do with cars when you're 14 is kind of like swearing to be a vegan when you've never read an ingredients list (e.g, milk in bread and chocolate, gelatin in candies, etc.) Every year I've not driven, I've been driven: friends and family have driven me pretty much everywhere. And although there may be some places where you really don't need to drive, I don't live there. I know of dozens of places that take hours to get to via public transit, if accessible at all, that are only a 20 minute drive away. (I'm thinking right now of the movie theater, the gym, a paragliding place, a restaurant that uses only mushrooms, some mountains, and a go club, and that's only the places I know right now OTOH.) And I remember how tough it was job-hunting without a car; there are so many places that you just can't even consider.
So today was my first day of classes, and having a trained instructor who has a brake pedal on his side of the car, plus knowing that the cost covers all insurance for all damage, just helps you relax so much! I still have no idea where the edges of the car are-- at one point, where I was sure we were straddling the crosswalk, he had me lean out the window and see that there was over a meter and a half left. I am also right now very very bad at using the steering wheel, and the accellerator frankly terrifies me. (And I'm so glad it's not a manual!) But I still have time to learn! I'm so happy to finally be learning!
-Also, Lady Gaga will be coming to Chiba in a few weeks. I waited by the ticket vending machine in the convenience store for the minute the tickets went on sale, so I'm going.
-Also, Avril Lavigne will be doing a mini-tour of the country. I was so sad when she came by a few months ago, and I only heard after it was too late, but she's coming back! And I could get a ticket! It's all-standing, which sucks, but the place is only about as big as a high school gym, so I am thrilled that I was able to get the ticket.