Monday, December 27, 2010

We Take Our Driving Tests

After taking two driving "unlearning" lessons we have been deemed fit to take our driving tests. For this a tester comes from Beer-Sheva to drive around with us and test our driving abilities. So, you can get a driver's license in Israel after driving and being tested on the streets of Mitzpe Ramon only, a town without a single traffic light, and then drive anywhere in Israel. Ok. The driving test also does not require that you park the car or drive in reverse. No doubt this is why backing up is the single most dangerous thing you can do in a car in Israel.

Pam takes her test with a teenage girl who is being re-tested after failing her first test. This is after 40 driving lessons, the usual number for a beginning driver. Apparently the tester yelled at the teenager about something, and after the test she is deathly afraid she has failed again. Three strikes and you have to take 40 more driving lessons. This is why they no longer tell you immediately if you have passed or failed the test. People used to pull guns and knives on the testers if they failed the test. I would, too, if I had to take another 40 driving lessons. Pam says she thought the girl drove fine, and didn't see any problems. As it turned out later, the teenager failed. Go know.

My test, like Pam's, was perfunctory. After all, I've been driving for twice the number of years that the tester has been alive. However, I consider it a singular achievement that I got him to tell me to drive faster. That after the driving instructor told me I have a lead foot.

Later that day Chavie was coming back from the market near the Cafeneto and she tells me, Guess what, you passed your driving test and so did Mommy. How did she know? Apparently, the tester had coffee at the 'Neto after he finished testing people and Oren, the manager, asked him if we passed. So, when I got home and Pam said Guess what? I said, We passed our driving tests. She was amazed that I already knew.

Such is life in Mitzpe Ramon.

Happy Trails to you. (Click for full size.)

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