One of the questions that was asked of me when going through the hiring process for my position here in Indonesia was “Would I be willing to learn how to ride a motorcycle?
Now back in August, the simple answer was “Yes”... of course, why would I not be willing to ride a motorcycle. Little did I know over the next 5 months just how difficult of a task learning to ride a motorcycle would actually be.
4 months later and with only a month to go before my departure it was finally time to ACTUALLY learn how to ride a motorcycle and get my full license in Canada. Simple... except that temperatures on Vancouver Island in December are the in the 0-5 degrees Celsius range, fine if you are walking down the street but verging on unbearable when riding a bike. Add to that the fact that most motorcycle training schools are closed for the winter.
Enter Vancouver Island Safety Council to the rescue and my wonderful instructor Mr. Andrew Agate! Over the course of 3 days I learned the basics of how to ride and handle a motorcycle and completed my Motorcycle Skills Assessment Test. The next step was completing my road test. After many frantic calls to ICBC I finally managed to find an opening for a road test in Victoria and a rental agency that would rent me a bike for the test. Easy... or so I thought.
That’s right I failed my first road test. And in the back of my mind I couldn’t help looking to the future and wondering how a road test in Canada was really going to prepare me for roads in Indonesia. Irregardless, 2 days before my flight to Indonesia I swallowed my fears and took the test again and passed with flying colours. Other than catching my first wave surfing I don’t think I have ever felt such a rush of accomplishment before.
Now here in Bali, I have had to learn how to drive on the left hand side of the road and understand the new rules (or lack there of) of the road. I think my instructors here in Bali got it right: It’s best to pray before driving!