After passing the written test second time 'round, I discovered that lessons at a driving school are necessary (at about $20/hr) because you need to be in a special car equipped with the pedals on the right side as well as the left to take the test (only stick shift, mind you), and you need to practice in the area where the driving test is given--with an instructor (the system of a learner's permit does not exist).
Ultimately, this creates employment. There are 3000 auto-écoles (driving schools) in Tunisia. The cute white KIA that I drove was brand new. Another student took the test first and told me afterwards that he was so nervous his legs trembled the whole time. He flunked right away, missed a priority on the right. Easily done as the area is mostly residential with narrow streets, lots of blind corners, few road signs, low hills, and a couple of busy and tricky intersections. There was a long line-up of waiting auto-école cars, which are always recognizable by the white sign with red writing on top.
In the future, I will be more patient with these cars when driving, knowing that the students will suffer greatly. I felt like I was 16 again (not a pleasant feeling) and had nightmares about cars and inspectors the night before.
While waiting in line, I pulled out my sketchbook (hardly the place to haul out your stitching).
Rather full of anxiety.
We got underway and as the inspector gave directions to drive we chatted, about dogs of all things, and I could tell he was giving me all the easy turns. After about 10 minutes he said to stop and he signed my papers and congratulated me. Afterwards, my driving instructor said that the inspector was always very nasty and that I was very lucky. I could see how the inspector could increase the difficulty of the test. Personally, I think I charmed him with my white hair and US nationality. I bet the woe-is-me story helped as well. In any case, I was thankful.
My husband says I'm the only person he knows who has taken the driving test just once--and he knows a lot of people. Before the test, he told me he would get me a present if I passed, something that I desired.
Yup, a couple of big pots to mosaic.
And driving, dear readers, is one of the reasons that I have had trouble keeping up with blogging. I was jumping through hoops.