Chronicles of Alex – We share the narrow road [2.0-3.5]

Learn English Via Listening | Begin...
Learn English Via Listening | Beginner Level | Lesson 18 | Learning How to Drive

Alex is learning how to drive! Join her as she navigates through the process.

The goal: To get the “N” before the end of January, 2016.

Goal for driving experience: 60 hours

Date: Monday, October 05/2015

Learn/Practice: Basic Stuff

Experience: 1.5 hours

Total experience: 3.5 hours

Location: North Vancouver

Weather Report: Dusk/Dark/Clear/Dry

Dash Cam: MIA 



What Alex Says: 

Hours 2-3.5, Oct 5

Today we went driving in the evening, so it was already dusk by the time we started. Driving in the dark IS a lot trickier, but we started on a quiet neighbourhood similar to the one we went to yesterday.

We continued practicing a lot of the skills I learned during Hours 0 and 2.

This time, the things I tried to remember were:

  1. Look far, far ahead to the block after the one you’re on.

  2. Keep your eyes moving.

  3. Scan every intersection left, centre, right, and then left again.

  4. Check your side mirror and shoulder check before turning.

  5. Check your rear-view mirror after you finish turning.

  6. Use the turn signal gently to avoid turning on the high-beam lights.

Things that surprised me were:

  1. When stopping on a hill, you can let go of the gas pedal instead of touching the brakes for a smoother stop.

  2. How far ahead you have to look, and that doing so helps you keep your car pointing straight.

  3. That some two-way stops will have a sign saying “two-way” underneath the stop sign, so you have to read the sign and not just assume that it says “four-way” if it has a tab on the bottom of the stop sign. 

  4. That there’s a glare-protecting screen you can flip over your rear-view mirror in the dark if a car’s headlights behind you are too bright

  5. How easily the high-beam lights turn on when you accidentally move the turn signal too aggressively.

  6. When creeping forward from a stop sign, creep out until you can see ¾ of the blocks on either side.

It was harder to see intersections and stop signs in the dark, but we did see joggers and dogs with their own headlights, and I swear I saw a raccoon. So at least it was kept interesting.

Oh and we keep getting so lucky with the beautiful views. We were going down a hill and the whole of the city in front of us was lit up with lights.

We then did some busier streets (eg. Grand Boulevard) and traffic lights before I recognized that I was getting tired and should call it a night. Overall, driving at night made everything feel a bit other-worldly at first, but I got used to it soon enough.


  • Do we always have to scan left, centre, right, left, in that order, for every intersection?
  • Why else do we look far ahead aside from good car control? If there’s a crash or traffic jam or other issues far ahead, you can see them and avoid them before getting stuck, It is good to see what is up there because you are going to be there kind of soon, you will be prepared before you get there, being proactive not reactive
  • Stop and take a picture of beautiful views, next time, you can get the best of both worlds without driving distracted
  • Excellent to recognize being tired is a good time to stop driving

We share the narrow road

  • I seem to have inadvertently taught the driver to always move vehicle to the right part of the road when approaching a stop sign, but almost all the roads on Oct 04 were very narrow (parked vehicles), so this was necessary because 2 cars travelling in opposite directions could not fit through the available space at the same time…. and, it is not polite to hog the road, However, on Oct. 05, we had some much wider roads..on which 2 vehicles travelling in opposite directions could not make any adjustments to their position on the road and still be in one piece, and the driver still moved the vehicle to the right at all stop signs, even when planning to continue straight ***my bad*** Hope this makes sense,
  • Why am I making the driver turn so many corners.. Driving straight is pretty easy, but will not go on busy street for a while. Partly so that the driver is able to turn off of the street with skill and confidence and, most importantly – safely

Continuing Straight : narrow street


Continuing Straight: Vehicle Position for a wider road



Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada and is an experienced writer, blogger, photographer, artist, philosopher, certified day dreamer and generally complicated human.

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