Apr 02 2012


Posted by Jenelle in Life in New York / Leave a Comment

I just realized I forgot to post about a major achievement that happened back in January… I got my New York license! Hooray!

To say I had been putting this test off is an understatement. I got my Learners Permit as soon as I moved here. But I became so petrified of driving here and especially in Brooklyn, I just couldn’t comprehend doing the actual test. Even after fourteen years of driving experience. I tried to push myself by doing the 5 hour compulsory class back in March last year but then could not do the actual booking of the test. I then decided I would do the test in Albany where it would be less scary. This was just based on the fact that when I had driven in Albany, it was without the crazies that drive around here and the roads were actually drivable. Anyway, that never eventuated because the scheduling is absolutely impossible to deal with.

The main factor in booking my driving test was that if I didn’t do it before March I would have to do that painful five hour class again. UGH! So in the end, I really had no choice. I got scheduled to do my test in Red Hook. If you google this test site, it is often referred to as the most difficult out of anywhere on the planet. Great. So we got the car and made our way there. In the back seat for good luck we had a Pies scarf and Tilly Turtle.


Unlike in Australia, the driving test is not start at the Vic Roads etc offices. They start in a normal street. I was a mess – shaking and sweaty palms. I was 100% sure I would fail. Mainly because it isn’t like I drive every day here. I still struggle with the other-side-of-the-road dramas and I doubt that will ever leave me. Driving here is stressful and I thought I’d buckle under it. The test was not easy by all means. My parallel parking was probably the narrowest park I have ever done in all my years of driving. There were people walking out in front of the car, double parked cars, IKEA traffic, laneways and sun glare. Funnily, I got chatting to my tester and he actually grew up in our area and his first girlfriend lived on our street. Chatting while I did the test made the whole experience more natural because I am just so used to prattling on when I drive normally. I was petrified I had failed for something. As we drove back (after about 15 mins of driving) I pulled in to the curb to see Bill waiting for me and waited to hear my result. PASSED. PASSED. PASSED. WOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!! I think I screamed.. I was SO relieved as I had convinced myself I’d be doing this test multiple times.

Driving home, I came across two instances in about five minutes that is just a small example of the craziness of driving here. Check out this – a man in a wheelchair, just going down the wrong way in the middle of the road in peak hour traffic –


Then the crazy construction zone at Atlantic Avenue. Twenty lanes (feels like it) going down to two and loonies coming at you from all directions.


Then this is it… my license with the dopiest photo of all time from when I got my learners in 2008. I am relieved though as only ‘official’ thing left for me to do is become a citizen and I have 18 months left to wait for that. Yeee-haaa!!!