Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Overdue License

For a student working towards a PhD in Transportation Engineering, it is probably a great irony that I took so long (3 years to be exact) to get my US driver's license. It was not for a lack of practice, but the old malaise - too much of it, being perpetually unsure and unready. And yet, eventually, it all came down to a whim and fancy, no more than 5 hours of studying to clear the written test, and 15 min of practicing in a parking lot to clear the driving test!

Of course, it was preceded by many hours of driving practice over years. And it really is easy, once you know what the controls do, there's nothing much left in terms of the actual act of driving itself. What is left is to stay mindful of the many rules, especially on US roads, even under pressure. And pressure is certainly what I was subject to by the DMV official in the test! I can count 4 times when he asked me if I wanted to stop the test, and 2 times when he threatened to do so himself. Two minutes into the 10-15 min long test and I was sure I had already failed, so it was just a matter of getting it over with.

But hey, I passed, and boy was I shocked! That too, I passed on the first try, including with a 100% on the written test (at least I know my theory!). And now I have a license that meets the Real ID Act requirements, if that means much. Of course, having a license and being able to drive well are two different things. I suppose another journey has just begun. 

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