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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Driving update: THE LAST [20150605|15:35]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |to the pub!]

For the past eight months, I have been practising to take the UK practical driving test. I've spent over 100 hours behind the wheel - not an easy logistical feat when you cannot drive unsupervised, your partner works full time, you have two children under the age of three and you're breastfeeding. I've had one supremely unhelpful instructor and one very helpful instructor (whom I didn't even have to pay, because he's the bloke).(Re-)learning to drive has been stressful, time-consuming and expensive.

But lo, it has all been worth it, for today I passed my UK driving test with four minor faults.

Let me repeat that in my American voice. HOLY SHIT I PASSED MY UK PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST!!!11!!11!!!ELEVENTY!!! YESSSS \o/ \o/

It is almost exactly 19 years to the day since I passed my US driving test. If there be any non-Brits amongst you who are scratching your heads about why I needed to take the test again, please know that the UK driving test is one of the toughest, if not the most difficult, in the world. They do not accept that you know how to drive in the UK if you can drive in the US. And, having been through both tests and driven extensively in both countries, I can say that they are 100% correct about this. I'm a far better - more attentive more flexible - driver now. I can drive on either side of the road, as appropriate. I can drive a manual (petrol or diesel) or an automatic car. My clutch control is good and will hopefully improve further in the coming months.

Right, so. Enough of this; I'll write more about the exam itself later. I have had a celebratory lunch and it's almost time for a celebratory evening drink. TO THE PUB!

This entry was originally posted at http://nanila.dreamwidth.org/976490.html. The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-06-05 15:31 (UTC)
Well, there you are then! :o)

Don't drive to the pub will you? They just changed the drink drive limit again- lower.

Congratulations.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:42 (UTC)
So happy the long stress is at an end!

Driving to our local would be very silly indeed as it's 150 metres from our front door. :D
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2015-06-09 19:12 (UTC)
Useful, that!

Ours is a bit more of a walk.
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[User Picture]From: thekumquat
2015-06-05 16:14 (UTC)
Congratulations!

I had 4 lessons in the UK, then 4 in the US and passed the Michigan test. Passing in the UK took another 4 tests and £1500...

Is there any terrifying rite of passage in the US that possibly compares?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:44 (UTC)
Thank you!

I don't think there is a comparable rite of passage. To obtain my US licence, I took lessons for 3 weeks (I think there were 5 lessons in total?), practised parallel parking with my dad twice, took my ten-minute test in the fourth week and passed. It was so easy.
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2015-06-05 17:26 (UTC)
YAAAY! Congrats!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:44 (UTC)
Thank you! \o/
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[User Picture]From: purplecthulhu
2015-06-05 18:41 (UTC)
Congratulations!

I had no idea the UK test was meant to be a tough one, especially judging by the quality of some of the driving I see on the roads. But then I see worse US driving when there...

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:46 (UTC)
Thank you!

It seems that there are a fair number of people who drive on a learner licence but without using learner plates. Also that impersonation for the purpose of obtaining a licence on behalf of someone else is a common problem. So some of the poor driving you see may be occurring because of those two things.

Also, it may be occurring because some people are inconsiderate dickheads.
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[User Picture]From: dylsexia
2015-06-06 04:46 (UTC)
Congratulations!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:47 (UTC)
Thank you! :D It's so nice to have that stress removed now.
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[User Picture]From: mysterysquid
2015-06-06 09:59 (UTC)
Congrats!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:48 (UTC)
Thank you! I'm doing little independent drives now, so I can get used to being alone in the car. I have to drive to Heathrow and back on Friday, which at about four hours round-trip will be the longest drive I've done.
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[User Picture]From: moosedevil
2015-06-06 20:18 (UTC)
Fantastic! Well done! So chuffed for ya :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:49 (UTC)
Thank you very much! At some point when we don't have two children in nursery and aren't paying for major renovations to the house (so about five years from now), I want to upgrade our car...
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[User Picture]From: bryangb
2015-06-06 22:28 (UTC)
Congratulations!

Sadly there seem to be far too many countries where the UK authorities /will/ accept driving licences from!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:53 (UTC)
Thank you!

Sadly there seem to be far too many countries where the UK authorities /will/ accept driving licences from!

That's not true. If you're resident in the UK, you can drive for 12 months on your foreign licence. After that you have to pass both theory and practical UK tests to continue driving. The only exceptions are for N Ireland and the EU.
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[User Picture]From: bryangb
2015-06-09 23:21 (UTC)
There are other exceptions - there's a list of "designated countries" whose licence holders can swap theirs for full UK licences in return for a small fee.

However I see you're right, in that others are supposed to take a UK test after 12 months residence. Then again, I wonder whether anyone actually checks?
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[User Picture]From: owlfish
2015-06-07 09:11 (UTC)
HURRAY! I am so happy for you! At long last!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-06-09 18:54 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Huzzah! :D
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2015-06-11 01:49 (UTC)
Yay!!! Congrats to you! What an achievement!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2015-07-02 11:37 (UTC)
Thanks very much! (Sorry it took me so long to reply!)
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