Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rite of passage

A rite of passage, that sounds almost like something from the time of when we were running around after mammoths and cavebears to get some food and to earn a real name. But I think you could say that passing your driving test is a modern day rite of passage.

As you've already guessed, I passed it today!!
It took me quite a while but that was mainly because there were some big gaps in between my driving lessons (once I choose a new computer over paying for a new block of driving lessons and last summer I sprained my ankle so I couldn't drive).
Next to that it takes me a while to get good at these kind of things, I've learned to live with that and I'm not ashamed of it because passing it is what counts. And I've passed on the first try! And not that I have disdain for people who need more tries (far from that!), but while you're driving people ask '..so how many lessons have you already taken' and when you got your driving license that question just changes in '..so how many times did it take you to pass'.

So in the end, the only thing that matters for me is thát I passed, and that I needed only one try is just small talk.
Oh and I drove around in this Opel (or for the British..Vauxhall) Astra:

*does a happy dance*


Blogger Arkonbey said...

Congratulations! Woo! Now, no texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. I mean it!

I had to take mine twice.

I wonder how different your tests are.

10 February 2009 at 22:47  
Blogger Arjan said...

won't call or answer calls while driving. There's a 90€ fine when you're not calling handsfree, although handsfree calling has its dangers too.

Well I can explain the practical test in a couple of steps (there's also the theoretical test, but it's set apart and I passed that last year).

1 Special handling
2 Navigation
3 Traffic situation explanation
4 Cluster assignment(s)
5 Technical information

- Stop the car along a road, be sure to watch for trouble and don't forget to the turnsignals
- Parking (either backing up or forward)
- Backing up around a corner
- Hill test: stop on a slope, and drive away without rolling back or worse..letting the motor turn off.

2: At the moment you've got 4 navigation points. The Central Bureau of Drivingskills (CBR in Dutch), a policestation, a big flat in the southern part of town and a supermarket in a village just outside Groningen.
It works simple: the instructor tells you to drive from one point to another without him/her telling you to go left/right.
But they áre dropping this one in favour of an assignment where you're told to for instance 'drive towards say..that large flat you see way overthere'

3 In my case: I had to turn right somewhere and had to stop about 200m after that and explain whát I should have been paying attention to, and what I had to do to make the turn *looking, signals, turning*.

4 Cluster assignment is nothing more than the examinator telling you to: 'turn left, then the next one right, another right, 2nd left and the 3rd turn right (for instance).

5: one of 3 sets of questions about the tires: profile, airpressure etc
questions about the meters and lights in the car (speed-o-meter, fuel meter etc)
or questions about the important parts under the hood: oiltank, battery, cooling fluid etc.

I think I was a bit lucky (but well I know people who got off way easier).
I already passed 1 in an intermediate test in november (nothing special).
2 The nórmal route I would have taken to the police station (cbr-police station) was kinda blocked so I didn't know what would be the fastest way so the examinator told me which way to drive anyway.
3 Already explained that (just normal).
4 Can't recall I really had cluster assignments, I think you either get the navigation or the cluster assignment. Seeing I got the navigation..without really having to navigate all that much..I didn't really get either one (although I wouldn't have had any trouble with this).

5: it was raining..so I got the inside the car part :P

*this is turning into be almost a blog post damn you ;)

Finally there's a huge turn about which is quite difficult and I didn't come across it during the test and it wasn't to busy on the motorway.

Now I'm curious what's different in your test!

11 February 2009 at 08:23  
Blogger Nicole said...

Fantastic! Congratulations!

11 February 2009 at 12:13  
Blogger Dan said...

Well done that man!

11 February 2009 at 19:30  
Blogger Arjan said...

thanks :)

12 February 2009 at 10:52  
Blogger Arkonbey said...

Wow. Your test is much better than ours. I get the feeling that you'll be safer than most of our new drivers.

And you took it in the rain, too? Good job.

12 February 2009 at 23:22  
Blogger Arjan said...

well I at least hope it was good enough haha. They're really trying to bring down the number of young drivers causing accidents, it's still quite high. Although I mainly think it's a certain mentality about driving which should be brought in. I've heard that in Finland people have driving lessons for years!! I'll ask my sister again, she told me the story last summer (after she came back from Finland).

as for rain..hmm well just very very irregular spatters..which gave me almost rsi from turning the windscreen whipers off and on all of the time.

Oh and I'm still curious how people in the US are supposed to deserve their license. At the moment the minimum age of at least pássing your test is 18 overhere, but I've heard rumours *news* that they are going to try and move it to 17 or even 16! And I'm not all for that, I think it'll cause even riskier behaviour on the road.

12 February 2009 at 23:56  
Blogger Arjan said...

oh and I didn't mean any offence by 'supposed to deserve' :)

12 February 2009 at 23:58  
Blogger Arkonbey said...

No offense taken for the 'deserve' I feel the same way :)

Too many people in the US think driving is a right and not a privilege.

15 February 2009 at 04:31  
Blogger Sweet Enemy said...

congrats, Arjan! I went years before I had the nerve to take the wheel. Arkonbey tried teaching me, but that wasn't to be... I opted for real driving lessons. Don't forget: keep your head on a swivel, keep checking your mirrors (except on curves.)

2 March 2009 at 18:04  
Blogger Arjan said...

But at least you díd eventually :)
Having the license gets more useful by the day. Groningen is a real bike-city so yeah, I'll keep checking those mirrors or the first thing I'll hear is bang!

3 March 2009 at 09:37  

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