Thank you for all the well-wishes and for following for what feels like a never ending tale of getting my UK Driver's License. What great troupers you are!
For a quick recap, it is a three step process which takes at least 6 months to complete. International drivers have one year from arrival date to complete the steps successfully to be 'legal'. Only 44% of applicants pass each year (I've also heard 33%). Let's just call them the lottery winners.
Without a UK Driver's License after the year is up, they will impound your car in the rain at night leaving you and your kids in their pjs on the side of the road - possibly miles (or kilometers) away from home - if pulled over by the police. That visualization was all I needed to get the ball rolling. Big, heavy, spiky ball.
Yesterday I took the last step of driving with Mr Tester Man. Waiting to meet him, I did a big sigh of relief when I saw he looked like a kind, grandfatherly-type (who surely doesn't fail those who try really, really hard). Scratched record sound in the background, I was then horrified when he opened his mouth in the thickest Scottish accent ever. Ever.
Even my accompanying driving instructor thought 'Uh oh' - he told me later.
Ironically during my driving lessons, I had mentioned every single potential catastrophe to my instructor that I could imagine. He had assured me I would be able to understand my Mr Tester Man (and a flock of pelicans were very unlikely to fly into my car during my test). His mantra was, 'Don't worry, Laura. Don't panic. You'll do fine'. But you know what he was really thinking.... (psycho)...
|Flowers growing in the road|
Back to the test - with Mr (Scottish) Tester Man repeating everything twice and a quick game of charades for clarification, I did all my turns and maneuvers 'good enough' to pass. After successfully completing my 3 Point Turn, a little 'Yippee!' escaped my lips. He chuckled a Scottish chuckle.
Definitely not a walk in the park, I received multiple check marks for insufficient mirror use. But I haven't met a person yet who hasn't been checked for that one repeatedly. Like Nadia Comaneci, is it possible to get a 'Perfect 10' on the practical driving test?
With marbles in his mouth, I had to ask Mr Tester Man to repeat what he said, because it sorta sounded like he said I passed. Or at least that's what I'm going with :)
So Nervous Nellie can now drive legally throughout Europe and The Commonwealth. (Except for India - they don't have reciprocity since their driving is of a 'different standard'.)
You know you have good friends when they greet you with wine and cake to either drown your sorrows or celebrate. They admitted that 'really, the day could have gone either way'.
So happy to put my book, notes, and CD-ROMs in the closet for my husband to use. Now I need to take care of duties that have taken the back burner.
Like calling the chimney sweep to clean our old Victorian chimney. I so love that. So English.
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands...
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