25 March 2011

Adventures In A RoundAbout

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

[image]

Hello Mr. Driving Test Man,

I am very scared of you and your scary test. I know too many expats who have struggled to complete this rite of passage gracefully.

I took my second driving lesson last week, and it looks like I still have a lot to work on - although I have a clean record and have been driving for over 20 years. It doesn't help that the instructor recommends 4 lessons for me, when he suggested another expat only to take 2 (!).

I try so hard not to get confused in which lane and which indicator to use in a roundabout with more than 4 arms. Perhaps peeking through hand-covered eyes is blurring my vision. And frowned upon?

An honest attempt is made to obey the speed limit, although I see it posted no where. One must be English and/or Harry Potter to see those invisible signs. That lucky broom-flying chap. And that darn handbrake alludes me (on my left side, not right). And could you tell me again why I need to apply it every time I'm stopped at a stoplight?

I sure hope I don't draw a blank when I 'tell you/show you' the brake fluid, legal tyre tread depth (1.6mm), and how to check the power steering. Couldn't I just give you the name of a local garage instead?


But chances are, I am
[image]

So I've come to grips that I have 'stressed induced asthma' just thinking about this test. Perhaps I could use an inhaler filled with wine during the exam - a little spritz would calm the nerves and clear the mind :) Our little secret?

And please forgive me if I pull over to throw-up during the exam. That's just my butterflies finding the nearest emergency exit.

I did pass the written exam on the second try, after all. They don't call me smarty-pants for nothing :) Or maybe they do. Call me that for nothing.

Ooh, let's go hunting for this sign. Like a scavenger hunt. Don't you know it is 'Fun Friday' on my blog? Wouldn't that be more fun? Testing with a twist. Maybe a friend will be holding it along my route. (Anyone, anyone?) Or maybe it will magically light up on my dashboard :) Magical, like those invisible ESP speed limit signs.


[image]


See you Friday, Mr. Driving Test Man. I'll be the one wearing a florescent safety vest and a decorative airsick bag around my neck. I'll bring a set for you too. I'm thoughtful like that.

Here's to hoping the day will be unmemorable, Mr Mister. In a good way.

Kindest regards, Nervous Nellie

If you can bear to go back in time, read about my written driving test saga here. Buried deep in another post, I did pass it two weeks later.

17 comments:

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

LOL. loving this post. you are hysterical, and this self deprecation is irrisistible. omg i cannot imagine coping with the angst of this traumatic experience you describe so perfectly. and i love the images you chose!

hugs to you BRAVE LAURA OF THE LOVELY PINOT INHALER AND DESIGNER BARF POUCH!

michele

lisaroyhandbags said...

So funny! I haven't even bothered here in Ireland since the car we've got is a stickshift! With the stick on the wrong side as well as the steering wheel! There's only so much my brain can handle and that's not one of them. I walk. :)

Frau S said...

And you will pass this one to. Meanwhile, your chronicles of this process are hilarious!

Erin S. said...

This made me laugh! We were some of the unfortunate expats who were always going home in 4 months, and then ended up staying for three years. I am usually a very law-abiding person, but I actually coasted under the radar and never got a UK driver's license (hanging head in shame)--not that your description is making me feel like I missed much in terms of fun experience :). I got a book to teach me the rules of the road, theory behind roundabouts, etc., and the quizzical looks from other drivers did start to lessen. I thought it was weird how they wanted you to look in your rear view mirror so frequently, although it became habit and I still do it. Could never get into the handbrake thing, though.

Meri said...

What a fun post to read :) Do they really make you show them stuff under the hood? I think I would just give up and get a metropass haha.

Kate and Russ said...

So I have to ask...did you really have a driving test MAN? I'm nervous I'll get the chatty lady examiner and she'll try to drum up conversation as I'm frantically searching for the invisible speed limit sign. I'm starting to hyperventilate now too...

Cori said...

You can do it!!! I passed the first time, but the hubs took two tries. Love to rub that in about women being better drivers! What the h**l with the crazy speed limit signs though?!?! The crazy white circle with the black line that means "National Speed Limit Applies." Fantastic! What's the national speed limit!?!? Or my favorite: 30 mph because there are street lamps. Oh. Right. Obviously. There's some street lamps so I'm slowin' right on down. Ah, these crazy Brits. Love 'em. Even with their driving rules insanity.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I remember when we were last in England getting on a round-about and not being able to get off!! Round and round we went and then finally we managed to exit.

Debbie Beardsley said...

Very humorous story! I had heard how much harder driving tests are abroad but didn't realize all the technical details drivers needed to know (brake fluid, legal tyre tread depth (1.6mm), and how to check the power steering.) I think a good garage is a very necessary thing!

Kris said...

oh I total know how you are feeling! I take my written test the first week in April - feeling okay about that one, but I'm terrified about talking the practical test. Good luck to you.... we can do it!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Laura, I remember arranging the car rental well in advance of our trip, getting an automatic (even though my husband was used to stick shifts) to make it easier for him since he would be in unfamiliar territory and driving on the other side, and arranging to pick it up outside of London to avoid London traffic. Well, we soon found out Holland Park is well within London with plenty of traffic. But we thought we were doing okay once we were on the motorway. THEN we got hung up in Rugby on the roundabout. It was our first encounter with a roundabout. We must have gone round a dozen times before we managed to escape. By then I was quite dizzy and my husband was totally disgusted, ready to turn in the car and go home!

Taylor Made said...

I don't know if I would pass my test if I had to resit ....too many bad habits snuck in over too many years. Good Luck.

Hines-Sight said...

Best of luck. We have a new roundabout on the main street near NC State University. It's so confusing, and I avoid it now. We're not used to those in North Carolina.

Teacup Moments said...

Laura, it was a blast to read this! Good luck with the test!

Robynne's Nest said...

Oh Nervous Nellie why do you need driving lessons...is it because you drive on the 'wrong' side of the road in the U.S...Thank god us Aussies drive on the right side cause I never would have managed. When hubby drives in Europe...it's so frightening..especially on the roundabouts...with all those crazy lunatic drivers (not unlike the drivers here in England really)...everything is so much faster here! I'm hoping to be back in Australia before I need to teach my son how to drive...don't really want to do it here...it was hard enough with the other two in Aust. Good luck and take care! Robx

Jane said...

Oh, Sweetie! I thought NN's days were behind her. I am staggered at how hard it is for you to get your full licence. Crossing all fingers and toes in faraway Australia! J x

American in Bath said...

Oh, my. You're not helping the "I should get a license" problem. Back onto the buses.