Thursday, October 13, 2011

An A is for Awww, I passed the second time

A couple days ago I went over to Chertsey to take my driving test... for the second time.  I had gotten over (most) of my disappointment with failing it the first go 'round.  If anything, I was feeling even more nervous about the second test because I had a month to obsess about how picky the test administrators could be.  So what's a girl to do?  Pop some Xanax I had frittered away that my doctor had prescribed for the flights across the Atlantic Ocean that freaked me out in the past, but are now just a pain in the butt because they're so danged long.

Even with my Xanax on board, I got to the test site a bit early.  There are just some compulsions no meds will overcome.  My British driving instructor was attending the test with one of his other pupils, so we chatted a bit in the waiting room.  The same slew of civil servants filed into the room to call the names of their victims test applicants for the 1:35 drive and I noticed that the same old guy that had failed me on my first test had slipped out of the nursing home again.  The Xanax that had me chillin' was about to be a big old waste of some good drugs until I heard the bound-to-be-pushing-90 test administrator call out my instructor's OTHER pupil's name.  Whew!  My test administrator entered the room last.  He was probably around my age with a bit of salt 'n pepper hair and a friendly disposition.  

I had to learn all sort of things that might be asked on the test, including how to check the oil and brake fluid.  I lucked out and was asked to show the test guy how to clean my windshield using the wipers and how to check if my brake lights were working.  Easy peasy!  Once we took off on our requisite 40 min drive around the area, I once again drew the easy card with a three-point turn instead of the dreaded reversing around a corner.  And I didn't have to do an emergency stop - hate slamming on the brakes and getting a wedgie when I slide forward in my seat so fast.

At the end of the test, the guy told me he was pleased to say that I passed with a 96.  Woo-hoo!  He went over the 4 dings I got, though I already knew two of them were when I forgot to signal left with my blinker on a roundabout that went straight across.  That always seems so ridiculous to me because I'm traveling straight across it to the other side and not actually turning left, but alas, that is the stupid rule.  The other two points I lost were for, get this... 1) being too cautious at a roundabout and waiting for a slow moving car to pass before I pulled out into the lane of traffic and 2) pulling up too close behind another car at a stop light when I should have left a safer distance between us at the stop light, where we were stopped, as in not moving and not in any danger of running into each other. Talk about goofy!  So in my mind I really scored a 98 because these two points I lost were ridiculously subjective.  Seriously, he might as well have knocked off a point because I'm a woman and because I'm an American with a southern accent.  They have about as much validity as the reasons he listed for me losing those two points.  But who cares... I passed!

Get a load of the size of my temporary license.  

I've had to fold it in half about four times to get it to fit in my wallet.  And that crazy-eyed license pic that looks like I belong on a terrorist most-wanted poster will be on my permanent driving license, oh joy.  But again, who cares because now I'm a legal driver and our insurance will continue to cover me since I only had a year to become fully licensed over here.  Of course, the bad news is that now I can get what they call "points" on my license.  If you rack up too many points for various traffic violations, then they suspend your license.  I intend to be the most law abiding driver on the road because I hear too many points resulting in a suspension requires that you take the driving test again.  That's quite the unpleasant thought.

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