So now you all no I didn’t make it in my first attempt. I was disappointed – but more than that I was angry! And with Anil!!! How could he not realize that I can’t come to terms with failure? How could he not know that I needed waaaaaaaay more than 10 classes? Did he not realize that I’d never driven in snowy, frosty conditions? I mean real thick snow! For that matter – that I’d really never driven?
In retrospect – how could he? We’d been married just 11 months! (Ah! Me and my large forgiving heart ☺ )
And now that I’d been here for a year, and not passed my “convert to Swiss license” test, I had to go through the whole rigmarole of:
1. Theory exam
2. Practical driving lessons – number of classes to be taken – read this – double the number of years you’ve walked the planet! In my case, 56.
3. Red Cross Course of 3 solid weekends
4. Driving psychology course
5. Practical exam
And you pay a large amount for each step. Those days driving practical lessons used to cost CHF80 per hour! Howzzat for saving and being a new arrival in the land of expenses and high living costs!
I am B-A-D at convincing my own hubby.
I tried telling him the joys of public transport. And no kidding, most people – even politicians and top shot business people travel by train. Switzerland is well networked – trains, buses, tram systems are all coordinated like clockwork – and talking of clocks – punctuality is the middle name of public transport here – along with cleanliness, pleasantness and more. Yes, I am truly amazed at this level of attention to detail for a bunch of commuters – nameless and unknown to the authorities.
But – no – Anil had a licence and I had to have one! That was that. So I thought, what the hell – I’ve given umpteen number of exams, so here’s one more. And I had the option to do the theory in English.
And off I go!
I passed the theory, enrolled myself for the rest of the procedures and started practical lessons – this time – with Annabella Meier Singh! Yes, the nurse-wife who wanted to teach. I was her third student.
We bargained a bit and decided to go for 20 – not 56 classes (desi mentality comes to the fore). After all, her husband had taught me before, so 10 classed should be considered done and over with! So classes began. She spoke German and “haan-ji” “nai-ji” – punjabi ishtyle. She said I was doing okay as I drove.
She was a lovely person – until we decided to go on the highway. “Aradhna – I have three children! No – you’re not set to hit the highway. We will practice parking,” she shrieked – hyperventilating at the same time.
Parking was a bigger fiasco – we tried it everyday, till my 103-point reverse parking became a 3 point-parking ☺ Nice!
The Red Cross course was interesting and so was driving psychology.
Shaking with nervousness I asked if she thought I could do it. “Yes” – she said – and added “may be, but you should have taken more classes”. Well, at least she hadn’t said “No” !
And – she went on – “you have a lenient examiner.” Yippee! Smiling, I greeted the examiner and we were off!
I went on the highway – a bit too slow. I changed lanes – a bit too fast. I parked – at the wrong spot and with 30 false moves or more. And then – I almost killed a dog! Not really. The lady and her dog had crossed both the streets of the main road – and then the stupid mutt jumped back on. On to the other side. It has to be “Superdog” to be able to run all the way back to my side of the street – so I drove on! And the examiner breaked hard and asked me if I had made a mistake. I said no – and gave him the above reasoning. He said I was arguing. I said I wasn’t. He said I was and I continued with my reasoning…
Well, like her other students, I failed – AGAIN! And poor Annabella reverted back to her old profession of being a nurse as she nursed her own mental wounds!
I was devastated yet again! Anil told me about a friend’s wife who attempted driving in Europe 9 times and passed at the her 10th attempt. I said hats off to her. I’m not the kind to go on after this.
But – I was wrong!