My friend P is an outgoing, ex-GSK manager, world traveller, and newly married. In her days in Manila, she was quite the independent woman of means, who drove herself (sometimes without a license or license plates!!!) all over town and around Luzon. She had no fears zooming in and out of the lanes. It was quite the surprise then to see her unable to get onto the freeway here in the US!
She hosted me and another friend for a day of pinoy food, and continued her hosting duties for me through the weekend. She and her husband made sure I got to see their town of Livermore, a northern California city about 40 minutes from Oakland. After a day of church going and quilt gazing (more on that another time), we went off to get ourselves some ice cream and chat away from the heat of Alameda County (searing heat). I gently suggested that we turn right and enter the freeway but she budged. It was soon discovered that she had made an attempt earlier this year but it was a nerve wracking experience, not helped by her husband's presence. Given that she drives a light blue truck, completely antidotal to her very girly outlook in life, it was high time to take the truck on the road. I pointed out that anyone who could drive south superhighway was more than capable of driving some easypeasy freeway, especially on a Sunday!
With some ice cream courage to boost us through the experience, we took to the first exit nearby, I told her to keep her speed steady and not to break at the first sign of a merge; we found a good speed and revved up as we entered the 580, the lack of heavy traffic was a boon to her courage. We took it out for a few miles, exited, and then backtracked to the exit heading south, and found our way back to her main street. Success!