Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Fail your Drivers Test (In Under 15 Minutes)

Dearest random reader from Slovenia, let me tell you about the epic task of getting one's driving license in Australia.

First, you pass a written test, then when you're 16 you get your Learners (Or L's) then you learn, then you take a practical test, then you drive around even more as a Learner, then you take your Hazard Perception test to get your P's (Or... What does P stand for? Who knows? Nothing probably...) then you drive around for a few years before they actually go "Yeah, after about 5 years we're going to give you a proper license." Which is actually a stupid order to things when you think about it. You see, if only they gave you the Hazard Perception Test BEFORE the Practical Test then you wouldn't fail nearly as much because you'd have to actually understand how the road works before you take your test . That way you wouldn't get cute 17 year old girls cutting me off at roundabouts... and then failing their test 5 minutes in.

Ha! An amateur mistake! Double lane roundabouts are bound to stuff up first time test takers no matter how experienced they are at driving!

...that's what happened to me the first time I failed.

Yeah, I failed my drivers test in under 15 minutes last time I tried it back in January. I called up near the end of December thinking I'd get something in February because people always say you need to book months in advance they're always booked. To my surprise I got something in the very start of January. The 3rd or something... 4th? 5th? Well they informed me that I would have to give 48 business hours before the test if I wanted to change or cancel my test which due to the large amounts of public holidays at the end of the year meant I had until.... 5pm to change. It was about 3 at the time. ".....Yeah OK."

Roundabouts... they're evil. They lurk there, waiting for you to enter them, waiting for you to screw up your indicator or not give way to the right... or just barrel straight through them even though they are curved and you need to indicate before changing lanes/you're not meant to change lanes while entering a roundabout...

..that's what I did. *Ahem*

So yes, I did what anyone who failed their drivers test did. I didn't drive for a very long time and when I did I avoided roundabouts.

(No, I am not this bad)

But then I got back on my horse and I got back to driving (which I know I can do, I am fine it's just I completely freaked and mindblanked during the test) and even got a few professional lessons and the teacher was like "OK let's do this... OK you can do that fine, let's do something else... OK you can do this fine too but (insert tiny little bit of advice). OK you don't actually need lessons... one more then book your test."

He even gave me a lesson just beforehand to make sure everything was polished and smoothed over then loaned me the car for the test. As we walk up to the licensing centre I received the weirdest analogy for taking a drivers test ever.

"Take it slow, don't rush it. It's like screwing a woman, if you take it too fast you ejaculate too soon."

....Um.................... thanks..... great thing to hear just before a drivers test.

(Because, there's nothing like a middle aged man talking about premature ejaculation to calm your nerves before a big practical test)

So today it was Take 2: Me vs The Australian Licensing Centre. BRING IT! I drove fine, I never neglected my indicating, my mirror checking, I stopped at every stop sign. Then I was easing out into the middle of an intersection, as you do, and was thinking about going, as you do when there's no oncoming traffic, but there were two people coming up to turn (each quite a bit apart) I wait for the first one, may have started edging forward and- ASSESSOR SLAMS BREAKS! Instant fail - failure to give way to traffic.

WOMAN! Can't you see I was trying to drive? Damnit to hell! I was barely moving you didn't have to hit the breaks!

On the bright side I lasted a whole probably 5 minutes longer than last time (I was still on section one of their little sheet of things to tick and comment shamefully on. I can't think of a proper name for it so let's call it "The Paper of SHAME") but still under 15 minutes.

Then later my mother, quite shocked that her perfectly competent driver of a son failed... again... was driving me around as I was handing out applications (OK I had been driving a good half of the day before my drivers test, I can only drive so much before I want to rest) was all like "What? I don't understand how did you fail your drivers test?" (she says while turning right at a traffic light) to which I reply "What you just did. I did exactly what you just did..."

Then I examined the situation and realised that traffic lights generally have give way sections when turning left and I was turning right, which means the guy coming on that I failed because of SHOULD'VE GIVEN WAY TO ME AND I SHOULDN'T HAVE GOT AN INSTANT FAIL! DAMNIT! DAMNIT! STUPID FOWL WOMAN THAT DRIVERS LICENSE SHOULD BE MINE!

Then I thought about it some more and realised that there is ONE (ONLY ONE) traffic light intersection in Joondalup where this almost universal rule is excepted and there is an arrow traffic light for those turning left on one side but not the other... so it MIGHT have been THAT. Yeah, I was turning right and there was no arrow. I was put in the most obscure and most difficult situation I could've been and I was caught out on a tiny tiny judgement.

Yep, the basic gist of how to Fail your Drivers Test in Under 15 Minutes is to not drive straight. Any point in time that requires you to stop and then turn is going to be your downfall. Oh yeah, that and I didn't sleep well or eat anything after breakfast and so my test, which was in the afternoon, was done while trying to stay awake. BAD IDEA! Hear me Learner drivers, the world is not straight, it is bent and it is going to eat you alive no matter what you do.

So what do you do about it?

You grab that carbon copy of The Paper of SHAME and scrunch it up (after taking note of the mistake you made last time to make sure you never make it again) and throw it in the bin. You book another damn test and you take it again as soon as you can. You know you can drive, don't get discouraged, you let your ego inflate not deflate.

Failure is something that happens naturally, success is rarely natural it needs to be forced. If someone says you failed, prove them wrong.

Spite and stubbornness. Two of the greatest motivators in the world. Next time I shall succeed, and if I don't I will just try again until I do.

I remember this one line from a movie called Little Man Tate (1991):

"A reasonable man adapts himself to the world around him. An unreasonable man expects to the world to adapt *to* him. Therefore all progress is made by unreasonable men."

That stuck with me, I don't remember any other part of the film except that line. I believe it's quite true. Problems are there for you to step on so you can reach higher, not to drag you down.

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