Oh dear, I have been most remiss in my driving updates!! Sorry going to Germany rather put paid to my writing and then I got caught up writing about Germany…anyway enough excuses here is all the driving in all it’s gory detail!
First of all I have taken and passed my theory test!! I really am thrilled to have passed first time as honestly I found it far more complicated than I had anticipated it being. The questions were all quite subjective and a couple I really was not sure of at all. Anyway I did well over all, although my score on rules and responsibilities was not a shining section shall we say! The whole process is done on computers and is multiple choice. Only 35 questions and you can go back and review everything. It’s a simple enough system but actually being able to check it so many times is what caused me to make mistakes. I just kept overthinking things…oh well it’s done now and apparently I passed in the top percentile so that was gratifying (although I do wonder who is more irresponsible and keen to break rules than me…)
Practical classes have been going very well…rather too well according to my teacher. I am meant to have 40 half hour classes to finish the course and I am going to finish in about 22. I have done stage 1-3 of 4 and stage 4 is parking. He said he hopes I find that challenging otherwise he really doesn’t know what to do with me for the last part of the course. I have to do the 40 classes regardless! It turns out that 6 hours of driving lessons in London was well worth it, it boosted my confidence and also taught me a lot of the technical stuff I needed to know. Now I can handle the mad stuff in Dubai without feeling a total beginner. One girl I met said she panicked and nearly turned the wrong way into oncoming traffic…fortunately I have yet to do anything remotely as dangerous as that.
I have now done turning left and right at 20, 40, 60 and 80. I can now change lanes easily at any speed. I can do u-turns (open and closed) and I can do roundabouts (though I admit not with great skill…that may be something to do with the remaining time!) I have even learned to really use my mirrors and rely on my own judgement. While my teacher is good he definitely lets me decide when it is safe to go. I think that will actually be far more useful in the long run and will help with my test (she says optimistically!)
Once I have done 36 classes I will sit the assessment test and the parking test and then I can apply for the practical which hopefully I can pass first time! I have only met a couple of people who have passed first time so I am a bit worried that I could fail…it seems they are really very strict!
I am really enjoying learning, my teacher is lovely and so encouraging. He obviously has way too much faith in me though and rather eggs on my inner daredevil! He had me speed through some lights so we wouldn’t have to wait. Then he agreed to let me cut up several learner drivers who were just going too slowly. I am not a very patient person at all in a car. Plus I just don’t understand how if they are meant to be at my level (else they aren’t allowed on those roads) they can’t actually stick to their lane and maintain a consistent speed. They are honestly dangerous which is why I like to get away from them!
There hasn’t been much hilarity to report really, though today a lorry overshot the lights and got stuck in a junction and we had to help him reverse…poor guy had not one but two Emirati’s behind him so it was a fairly high pressured moment! Still we all got through it in the end.
Soon it is Ramadan so I can increase my classes from 1 hour to 2 hours as we work shorter hours during Ramadan. It would definitely be good to be able to pass ahead of schedule. I am getting really excited to get a car and to do the commute. Especially during Ramadan it will be great to make the most of flexible working hours!
Please wish me luck! Also i’d love to hear any driving lesson stories…it can’t only be ridiculous in Dubai surely?!