Ugh. Driving.

I’ve been driving for four years now, and I have a love-hate relationship for this skill. The hate side of this relationship, however, has exponentially grown since I started working a nine-to-five job in Makati. And we all know what that means. Right, Makati people? We experience THE WORST TRAFFIC EVERY DAY. No exaggeration. The worst. And to make things even worse, I drive stick.

Driving stick is like one of those badges of honor you flash to lesser people. You complain about it but at the same time you’re bragging (which is what I’m doing, obviously). You know how some people complain/brag that they have so much work to do, or they’re juggling so many things and THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE WORLD FOR THEIR BUSY SCHEDULES?! Just dial that down and that’s how you complain/brag about driving stick.

Before my mom bought our car, she asked me if I wanted manual or automatic transmission. She listed down the pros and cons, and what made me decide to go for the manual transmission was the challenge that it was harder to drive. Women are already discriminated against when it comes to driving, so I thought that I wouldn’t give them any more reason to discriminate against me by driving an automatic car.

I heard someone say that you become a real driver once you scratch your car, which I’ve done early on. But I don’t agree that it’s a measure of anything. For me, I think you’re a good driver if you can navigate through Manila’s traffic driving a stick shift. The sheer patience, skill and strategy it takes is impressive enough. Also, men SHOULD know how to drive stick. (I’m sexist.) They can’t be sissies driving a larger version of a bumper car. Don’t they know there’s so much badassery happening when you have one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear and then you change gears LIKE A BOSS? Can you imagine The Fast and the Furious with automatic cars? And Vin Diesel just sits there like he’s driving Miss Daisy? There would be no 6th installment in that series if that happened. Learning how to drive only automatic is a privilege reserved for old people.  And remember that scene in Perks of Being a Wallflower where Charlie says that tonight we are infinite? I’m pretty sure no one driving an automatic ever had that moment.

This moment is brought to you by Perks of Being a Wallflower and Stick Shift Driving.

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