Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Driving in the City

Believe it or not I still do not have my drivers license. However, I am determined not to turn 25 without it. This gives me roughly a half a year give or take a few months to pass a road test. All my 17 year old cousins are giving me their tips.

Tip 1: Take the road test in staten island.
Tip2: Do not take the road test at Sheaps Head Bay. Apparently there is a woman named "the terminator" there who fails you the minute she gets in the car. Some people have not even managed to pull away from the curb before she declares the test over.
Tip 3: Don't forget to put on your seat belt (apparently a large cause of road test failure in the 17 year old crowd).
Tip 4: Don't drive as fast as you want to. (I don't think there's much of a problem with this. If anything I will likely get points deducted for driving two slowly and impeding traffic. I can barely bring myself to get the car up to 20 mph when I have a large open road in front of me. This could be an issue as apparently they do give 'speeding' tickets to people who drive too slowly. Just ask my father-in-law.)

The first step to obtaining a license is obtaining a learners permit. I accomplished this when I was in high school. I needed it as ID to take the SAT. But I was perhaps the worlds first teenager who did not want to drive. I am actually on my THIRD learners permit at this point. My first one expired on me when I turned 18. I had to take the written and vision tests again. If you think you've seen it all, just wait until you visit a DMV. There was a woman cheating on the vision test! Not only that but she did so by blatantly reading off her palm. The best part of the story is that the DMV employee did not look up from her computer screen the entire time and thus did not notice the cheating woman. She's probably on the road by now.

My third learners permit came when I got married and changed my name. This was a relief since they let you take a new picture when you chage your name. My old drug addict poto was replaced by something that actually looks a little like me. Maybe that is because I took this photo at a manhattan DMV while the previous one was in Brooklyn. I have heard that at some DMV's upstate they are even nice enough to take three shots, show them to you and then let you pick your favorite. Whatever they put in the water coller up there, I think we need to get some of it.

Then comes the ever popular 5 hour class. This mandatory class usually last about two and a half hours and the curriculum is entirely up to the instructor. Most involved a video. Mine was taught by some Russian mafia man who showed a video on how 'the 90's woman' is not afraid to change her own oil an tires. I was also the only white person in the room. Apparently all the white teenagers take drivers ed in school. Everyone else (and me) go to the russian mafia. After the video we were treated to a tale about how our instructor owns two guns and almost shot two diners in the restaurant he used to own because he was sure they would try to hold him up. The moral of the story was supposed to be how you never know what crazy people are out there wanting to shoot you and so you must share the road. Don't lose your certificate of completion for this class. You cannot take a road test without one. After all, you learn so many valuable things at this class.

I am now on the lessons stage. Let me tell you, if you thought it was hard driving in NYC imagine what it would be like to learn how to drive in NYC. My instructor is actually pretty good and she takes me driving all over the place. Before I even know what is happening I changing lanes and honking pedestriands in Harlem. If you need an instructor I'd be happy to give her your number.

The road test is August 14th. Wish me luck.

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