Hit the road Rach…Part 2!

So as we all know (I put it out there in my last blog post!) I had my driving test yesterday. Now I’ve been driving for the last 12 years after passing my test in England at the tender age of 17 so taking another test felt a little bit like going back in time! But the German told me a Georgia Drivers Licence was needed firstly to make the car insurance cheaper but also because you can only drive on a UK licence for a year!

So at 1:30pm yesterday (after waiting all morning for Ikea to come and pick up some unwanted furniture – they came just in time!!) I headed on down to here…

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Yep the Georgia Department of Driver Services ready for my 1:40pm test. Now this place is NEVER empty…there are always massive queues and like the aforementioned Big V interview, it involves getting a number and waiting for your name to be called to the window. I was under the impression that having an appointment booked would mean it would take place on time…how wrong was I?

So for the second time I filled in the application form (which included my height, eye colour and weight?!?! Weight – why the hell you need that on a driver’s licence I have no idea – who needs to know that?!! Needless to say I *may* have knocked off a couple of pounds!!) and headed off to find a seat which was VERY difficult. It was the busiest I had ever seen it – and it was my fourth trip there after going there with the German twice!

I sat and waited, and waited, and waited and when it got to 2:30pm I was kind of worried I might have missed my slot by not speaking up so I bobbed up to a window (and probably had a hundred angry eyes burning into the back of my head thinking ‘what the hell is she doing – she better not get served before me – she should wait her turn blah blah blah!) and quickly asked the lady – sadly there was no quick fix – I had to wait for my number and one employee said the current wait time was 2 hours. Great. On the plus side at least my phone was now working (After complaining to Orange again they miraculously got the unlocking code to me within 24 hours!) so I could pass some time on the delights of Facebook, whatsapp and the BBC news app (yep the journo is still in there!)

Then after about an hour (I beat the person I was sitting next to who go there before me and was still sitting there when I went up to the window!! I’m sure he secretly hated me!!) it was my turn – I had my photo taken again and signed my name badly again on the computer screen! It wasn’t great. Anyway I was told to pull the car up to the curb (very American I know!!) and wait for the examiner. So I did.

Now having already taken a test in England many moons ago I was feeling kind of confident – I can drive and I have been for years! It was the parking I was worried about especially in my SUV! I was all set for the test in the hire car that had a camera on the back but mine doesn’t so I was slightly worried! Oh and not forgetting the steering wheel is on the wrong side to what I’m used to!

But the examiner came and off we went, after I’d showed him I could work the indicators, brake and horn, into another part of the car park! Yep no actual roads involved yet! I had to do an emergency stop…tick! Then reverse in a straight line…tick! And then parallel park…this was the tricky one but…tick! Then I reversed into a parking spot…tick! And then we went out on the road for all of 5 minutes. We got back to the car park and that was it…test done and I passed!! Yay!

Now what’s that I hear you say? Your test lasted only 10 minutes? Yep that’s right – 10 minutes and I could legally drive on the road. Now this wasn’t a special test because I’d been driving for 12 years already – that was the test 16/17 year olds take before they’re allowed on the road! There’s no half an hour around the roads of a certain town, no 3 point turn, no hill starts and because cars are all automatic over here there’s none of that clutch control nonsense! Just a 10 minute test, 5 of which is taken in a car park! There’s no wonder people out here seem to struggle on the road!! I’ve already said to the German if we ever have an accident (touch wood we never do – go one touch some wood!!!) it won’t be our fault!! In fact the teenager who took her test before me came back into the car park and seriously mounted the curb when she pulled around the corner but she still passed…there’s no hope!!

So that’s it – I’m now officially a Georgia driver!! Another thing to tick off the list!

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