Today I am officially halfway towards a German driver’s license. I passed my written exam this morning.
This has been an extremely long and agonizing road, and I’m only halfway done.
What? You’re asking yourself right now, did I actually make it to almost 30 without a driver’s license?
No. I have the unfortunate luck of being a California driver.
According to the German government, we people from the Sunshine State cannot drive as well as Germans and therefore must be thoroughly tested before gaining legal acceptance here. Just to rub it in and make us really bitter they let us drive for the first 6 months and then take our license away.
No more driving for you!
For the past week I’ve been cramming for this test amid stories from friends about how they all failed the first two times they took it. I had to register with a driving school and they sent me sample tests in English. I got 45 tests in all, four pages each, to memorize.
Best part is the tests aren’t written in English, they’re translated from German. Into ‘British / Non-native speaker’ english. Which means it’s a language all its own with its own sense of logic that doesn’t always mesh well with my own.
And the questions are weird like:
You are really furious about something, do you:
a) get in the car and drive because driving is a good way to get rid of anger.
b) calm down before you get behind the wheel because you should never drive angry.
Now the answer is obvious for this one but what kind of a question is that? It’s like the German government wants to make a point by forcing teenagers to answer this question.
I’m very glad I passed.
Oliver dropped me off at the driving school and a teacher drove me to the DMV with a whole gaggle of kids who were also there to take it. I had been memorizing questions like how to calculate stopping distance using speed (into kilometers) and what the speed limit was for cars with trailers pulling loads of 750 kilos on a road outside a built-up area (80 km and what the hell is a built-up area anyway?) and when I got the test…
I got the drving angry and right-of-way questions.
So I studied for an incredibly hard test and instead breezed through and passed a very easy one. I only missed one question and it was hard:
What’s illegal? Driving with a mobile phone that
a) must be held in the hand
b) must be held to the head
c) must be picked up
I missed ‘c’ because I rationalized that you had to briefly pick up the mobile to answer when someone calls and activate the headset.
Apparently not. This means Oliver’s been BREAKING THE LAW.
I’m totally turning him in.