Today was the big day for the driving test. I was up early this morning in order to catch a cab to the testing place for an 8:00 lesson. Much appreciation to Rachel, as it is normally my job to get Channah ready and off to school in the morning.
My practise lesson went really badly. I was really nervous plus I was trying to remember and apply a whole bunch of different sets of instructions. I was not executing my hand over hand technique as well as a I could. For the most part he was telling me to put my hands in positions that I had always learned and practised were not correct. Every decision that normally comes naturally were judged on is this the right decision followed by do they agree with me? My first ever driving test I failed for going 40 in a 50. That experience was in the back of my head when I kept being told to either slow down or speed up.
I had at least 3 automatic fails during the practise. One of them was coming out of a traffic circle I crossed a white line that was so faded that you couldn't see it. However it was legally there and therefore I should have treated it like a wall. That was one of two occasions that put my nerves over the top and had to pull over to regain control.
After my lesson I had a choice to either hang around or go along for the lesson of the other person taking the test with me. I choose to go along for the lesson. The other driver was someone who had been in Ulpan with me for a little while and also had Rachel do some repair work. Even sitting in the back seat made me more nervous. Seeing the road again helpped me think about what things I could possibly expect.
After he lesson we had about 40 minutes until our scheduled test. We both took a short breather and bathroom break. When we came out we were told to head to the car immediatly they were going to do the test right away. As I didn't really have a preference we decided earlier that I would go second.
The examiner comes to the car after being instructed to give the test in English. The way the documents are handled here the date of issue is always entered into the system with how much driving experience you have. The examiner asked how much driving experience we have.
The first thing was a left turn at a T - Junction heading towards the traffic circle leading into big. With the heavy traffic and no light it is one of the hardest turns in Bet Shemesh. There was then about 5 minutes of driving before, it was time to pull over for my turn.
For the first 30 seconds my right was shaking. I ended up taking the approach to drive as best I can taking into account the extras that were floating around through my head. I didn't focus on every little thing and I was aware of stuff I had overlooked. 5 minutes later it was all done. A quick meeting with the instructor and grabbed a cab to work.
They don't tell you if you passed or failed right away. You have to find out from your instructor after 2:00ish. At 3:00 I found out I passed. I was happy and relieved. I posted on Facebook. A few minutes later a girl in our department let out a Mazel Tov. The rest of my department all joined in. Then my boss said he was confused the only reason event was that someone in a department we work with wrote a bug. He was told Facebook is the place for all the news from accross the room. I guess I could have posted it on Yammer but I am still really not sure what it is for.
Now I have to go back to the testing centre to pick up my temporary license. Then I need to pay for it at the post office in order to receive my full license. I am now officially an Israeli driver with all of the meaning that goes along with it. We are going to start keeping our eyes out for an opprutunity to purchase an little old clunker.