Monday, November 19, 2007

Driving in Africa and Hallo in Turkish

The day I got my drivers licensed was the day that I finally won my freedom.
I say finally because I only became a legal driver at 21 years of age.
Before that I relied on my mothers reluctant generosity and my powers of persuasion to get me where I was going, a fact that drove my independent ego around the twist.

The fact that the first singes of civilization were a good 20km (12.5miles) drive from our home did not make the bruise on my social life any easier to bare and I was convinced that having my drivers license would change my life.
For once my materialistic outlook proved to be right.

In a country where using public transport is as safe as bleeding in a shark tank, having your own car and being allowed to drive it can change your entire existence
However passing your drivers License test is probably the most difficult thing the that young people in South-Africa must do.
I personally thought that getting my High school diploma was a walk in the park in comparison.
I only got my drivers Licensed on the fourth try and it was the source of much depression and tears every time that I failed.
I think that it was the most difficult time in Stiffla and My relationship and Stiffla must have felt like he was living with leonine porcupine with a cactus enema.

This weekend I spent some time with a very dear friend of mine as they practiced for their own driver’s test that will take place tomorrow.
They practiced reverse parking and all the silly observations that turn this simple task into a near impossible feat.
Then there is the parallel parking that is not without its own set of observations
Side mirror, rear view mirror, check your blind spot, put your indicator on , put your car in gear, control your clutch, release hand brake, check blind spot while pulling away and so on and so on.
The simple act of stopping at a robot becomes a half hour look-here-look-there complication that you are lucky to complete before the traffic light turns red again.
And all the while the worst out of an already sour picking of public services scrutinizes your driving skill.
The fact that once you have passed this test, you will never drive like this again is irrelevant and the fact that you are being tested against a false standard escapes the traffic department.
So I find it rather aggravating that my friend is being put under such stress for the sake of such a load of unnecessary crap.
It aggravates me even further that I know what my friend feels like and I cannot help make it better.
Damn I wish I had a real point to make.

By the way thanks so much to CEO for the Girl Blogger award. God I love awards

And I have learnt to say hallo in Turkish from my new friend Erk who came by my blog.
Everybody say “Marhaba”


Szarek(Will) said...


Lee is wish your dear friend gets it...Believe me I know how he feels...

Pink ditz said...

Hahaha that is eaxactly how things are here regarding public transport.

I know exactly how you feel, we don't get our drivers license until the age of 18, so it's hard to be independant from your parents, and now I still don't have my own car wich sucks.

I have no idea how I passed my test, I still can't paralel park for my life

Glugster said...

It's easy to bypass the parallel parking thingy. Just do your code 10 licence in stead of code 8. You don't have to parallel park on code 10.

I drove around illegaly for about a year and a half before I got my licence. Never got caught. I just didn't look guilty.

Claudia said...

Marhaba! although with the way some people drive, it makes me wonder how the hell they ever passed the test at all...complete morons!!

Gremlin said...

LOL the day of terror....

Luckly I got mine the first time altho the guy next to me just alway's complaint that I was going to far. And I didn't even go 30km/h.

I thought one of my friends about 3months later... But with all the going off-road chassing a dear thru the fields he passed.... Geuse it helps to do the test in a small forgoten village...

@Claud... maybe they cant drive because of all the crap they teach you... I know if I still had to do all those dancing around in the car before I could turn you will say the same about me.

angel said...

very cool post- i think people need to be warned and warn their kids up front what they're in for when they attempt that bloody thing!
i got my license at 22!!! and only on the second attempt. i remember my driving instructor telling me to "remember to observate" and i kept giggling!

sweetass RSA said...

Marhaba...i like!!!

getting your license it's a rite of passage... it's not supposed to be easy! good luck to your friend!!

Marhaba...Marhaba... i like that!!

Nosjunkie said...

HAHA soon we will all be speaking turkish.
the other stuf he tried to teach me was way more difficult.

hey Pink I am so glad your back I thought you were in a ditch somewhere.

Glugs you wont believe me but I was way to scared to drive illegaly. not scared of getting caught but scared of getting in a fender bender and then never being able to do my drivers at all

Glauds I agree with grem on this one I dont know how it is for you guys over there but here Driving like a dick head is mandatory for geting your permit.

I am so glad you only got yours at 22 Angel I feel a bit better about my own struggle now

And to sweet ass, I suppose your right... in ancient times the egyptians used to run the red road and face death ... we have to do our drivers and face eternal social stagnation.

By the way I cant parralel either and I never revers into any Parking.
My sister and Will dont have that problem. They drive better when going backwards than forwards

Simply Curious said...

Marhaba. I used to know a guy from Jordan that said that as his hello greeting. I always thought it was Arabic...He always said it to the Syrians and they'd say it back. Fun little word.

I STILL don't have my license. I've driven a few times but I get soo scared! I'm so small that I always feel like the car is so damn huge and it's over the lines on both sides. So I end up panicking, pulling over and getting out, almost crying. One of these days, I'll find someone patient enough to teach me.

Nosjunkie said...

Curious I feel your pain when I just started driving I felt the same way. I would either drive to far to the inside or to far to the outside to try and keep the car in the lines.
I am small too and most cars are way to big for me.
I can barely see over the dash of the OPC.
so I baught an opel CORSA (vauxel) its small I can see the dash and it has all the cool stuff like power steering so I can even park

Claudia said...

I don't know...I don't know anywhere that they teach people to STOP at yield signs, brake in the merge lane, or in some cases, actually stop and reverse on the highway!! yes, it happens!!

Gremlin said...

LOL claud that sounds so.... Oh never mind.

You know I always strugled with parrelel parking. Then I worked for a place where I had to drive a big bakkie and that's where I picked up the fine art of the parking and reversing into tight spots... Thanx to the bakkie....

Crankster said...

Where I grew up, public transportation was nonexistent. I still remember the joy that I felt after I got my license...before my parents started waking me up at 6 to get milk and making me run a bus service for my sisters.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Marhaba! So good to learn something new and fun. Congrats on your drivers license. May it also be your license to a better social life. Drive safely.