Because of some strange law in this country, a foreigner is able to drive on their previous license from their mother land for 12 months. By the time those 12 months are up you are expected to have taken and passed a theory test, hazard perception test and a practical test. If you fail to take these tests, or fail the tests themselves, you are demoted to the status of a 17 year old (15 to those of you in the States) which is the age at which you may obtain your provisional license. All that to say, I am now in the process of learning how to drive. I never expected, at the age of 26, to be taking my very first driving lessons with an instructor. And if I don't pass all of this nonsense I will be on a provisional license and wont be able to drive by myself for 6 months. Hahaha. All I can really do is laugh about this because it's too terrible to bear otherwise.
I'll be honest with you, I'm not too worried about the theory test. Having 11 years of driving experience, and 7 months of experience driving here, I pretty much get what you're supposed to do. If a granny is crossing the road you slow down and/or stop. You go the speed limit. You check your mirrors. Duh. It's just the bizarre wording here that scares me. I need to know the difference between zebra, pelican, toucan and puffin crossings--what's the deal with all these references to exotic wildlife in a country where the most exciting native animal is the hedgehog? There are about 1 billion signs to memorize, but again, no big deal, I can do that. It's the actual driving test that I'm worried about. I can't yet say that I'm an expert with a stick shift--but put me in an automatic and I can multitask like no other. I drive about an hour and a half each day to work and back, but I still get nervous at some busier roundabouts and my hill starts could more appropriately be called hill stalls. It's not that bad actually, I'm giving myself a hard time here, but it really is nerve wracking and more than a little shameful that I am once again among the ranks of high school students even though I have never been in an accident or caught speeding in my life.
So it begins tomorrow. My first driving lesson is at 12:30 during my lunch break... wish me luck.