Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Italian Driving School Diaries - I HAVE AN ITALIAN LICENSE!!

Sorry for the caps but this situation calls for it. I passed the driving exam today.

I still don't believe it. After months of studying and freaking out about the written test and four weeks of driving lessons to learn how to drive a standard/stick it came down to 10 minutes this afternoon.

Yes my driving exam was only 10 minutes long. Let me break down the scene.

I went to the Autoscuola to meet my teacher, Bruno. We (and another student) went to the Parco della Musica to take the exam. Bruno gave us some last minutes tips.

The examiner arrives. She had a lot of style. Seriously, her shoes was fab. She kept her sunglasses on and got in the back seat. I went first. I remembered to use the indicators, check mirrors, etc. I didn't stall once. Phew. Finally I was able to go from 1st to 2nd then to 3rd gear no problem. I remembered to downshift to 2nd before making a turn.

Then I had to parallel park. I reversed too quickly and I did turn my head once to look in front of me. The examiner said, "Signora (in very quickly spoken Italian I didn't understand here)" basically, "what are you doing? Keeping looking behind you." I felt sick to my stomach because I thought she was going to fail me. At least the parking job ended up well. I wasn't too close or too far from the pavement.

After my two fellow classmates took the test, we went over to meet Bruno who had our licenses. We all passed. I held my Patente di Guida to my chest and whisper thank you to the examiner. She smiled. One of the girls pulled me and our other classmate into a group hug. I haven't been this happy since...uhm, it's been a while.

One classmate is going to organize an aperitivo since we live near each other. Both of my former classmates are super sweet. Seniors in high school. I don't think they realize I'm old enough to be their mom.

Anyway, I cannot say enough good things about this school. Yes it's a pain to get your license here but they make the process as smooth as possible. The school is worth every single euro.

Andrea was great. I wish I understood Italian better as the class kept cracking up. I missed most of the jokes/humor. Andrea took the time to answer all my questions. There is no way I would have passed the written exam without taking his classes.

Bruno was my driving instructor. He speaks some English. The man deserves a medal. I was so nervous about learning standard after 20 plus years of driving automatic. He has a ton of patience. Bruno corrected all my bad driving habits. I'm definitely a better driver now after taking lessons with him.

Here is their website.:

http://www.autoscuolailario.it/home.htm

If you know some who needs to sign up with an autoscuola in Rome, this school is the bomb. In a weird way I'm going to miss them. I've been going to the school every week for the past five months.

My next challenge is become fluent in Italian. I think this is going to take a little longer than five months. Ha.

42 comments:

Diana Strinati Baur said...

COMPLIMENTI!! So happy for you. Take the day off, but don't drink and drive :)

Caro said...

Yeyah! Congratulations! That's great.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

diana - Grazie. cara, Your flash cards advice was v. helpful.

I have so much to do today but I will be having a drink later. The place is in walking distance so there will be no driving. ha.

Caro - thank you! I'm still in shock.

Moscerina said...

you are the wind beneath my wings!!!!! FLY FLY FLY!

congratulazioni!

Kim B. said...

so exciting!!!! Congratulations ragazza!!! Who knew this would end up being such a positive experience?!!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

moscerina - grazie cara! I received your text just before taking the test.

kimb - thank you. In a bizarro way it was. I mean of course I wish I didn't have to spend so much money but I did enjoy meeting the people I did and having some kind of structure in my life.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful place to be!

erin :: the olive notes said...

oh, I can just feel your excitement! What a relief... :)

LuLu said...

Yay!! Congratulations!!

Stekkino said...

Congratulazioni!! make the best out of it and drive safe..

Skywalker said...

Please be safe!!!

Annika said...

Congratulations!!! I'm in the process of getting a license as well, but for the first time... it's been fun to read about your experience and compare the process in Italy vs Sweden.

Anyway, again - very well done, congratulations!!!!!

glamah16 said...

Yes!!!!

Tracie B. said...

ok, so gettingyouritaliandriverslicense+18yearoldstmistakingyoufor theirpeers=happyhappyday!

augurissimi!!

girasoli said...

I am in awe! Congratulations!! I am so happy for you :)

Liane Spicer said...

Wow! Congrats!

*Belgian said...

Congratz! If you can drive in Rome, you can pretty much do anything... have fun celebrating!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

grazie mille tutti!!

Good luck Annika with getting your license.

Tracie B it was too funny! I know I look young for my age but not that young.

ladonnadifilicudi said...

Brava Arlene! Sono molto, molto orgogliosa di te.

Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

Brava! drive safely.

J.Doe said...

congrats!

SDG said...

Congratulations! I am so pleased for you.

dorina said...

i'm so happy for you! congratulations! and of course you'll get the language fluent . . just a little more time . .

Gil said...

Congratulations!!!

Los Angelista said...

Congratulations!!! This is fantastic news and what a relief for you, I'm sure!


Of course your driving inspector has a killer shoe game... you live in freaking Rome!

Sonia said...

wow!! that's fantastic!! i'm so happy and proud of you! Complimenti!!

KC said...

Congratulations!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Thank you everyone!

Susan said...

Congratulations - Im so happy for you...

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

I am late to the party..probably because I spent the time wallowing in my jealousy! Congrats!!!!!!! I don't look forward to doing it myself...come September. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

grazie!

sara - two words, practice tests.

scatteredmoments said...

Brava!!!!

Kataroma said...

Congratulations! Only question is - where are you going to park in the historical centre?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

thanks scattered and kataroma.

re: parking, I don't have a car yet. If I'm still living in the center, I will park at a garage not far from me. I don't know what the permits cost to park in the center. Even if they are reasonable, I think I will go the garage route. There's no need for me to drive in the center, and street parking around here is tough. Narrow streets, few spaces.

Angie said...

Better late than never (for this reply, I mean)...Congrats! Quite an accomplishment!

Jessica, WhyGo Italy said...

Big congrats on the license, that's very cool. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!

You mentioned how this was the happiest you'd been in...a while...I'm curious to know if you miss your life in the US now that you've been there for a while...do you feel more settled or do you feel somewhat like a fish out of water. I dream of living in Europe, and am sure that I will love it - initially - but wonder how people cope in the long-term.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

grazie Angie and Jessica!


anon - I've only been here a year so not sure if I can answer your question. I miss my siblings and friends of course but I don't miss living in America at all. Have never been homesick.

I wrote the following on my first anniversary in Italy.

http://sistergirltales.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-year-ago-today-i-moved-to-rome.html

Valerie said...

Woohoo!! What a major accomplishment!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

grazie Valerie!

Vakker Kvinne said...

Congrats! I just got my Norwegian license so I totally know the feeling! Freedom and elation!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

thanks Vakker and congrats to you as well.