Early this morning, I finally set in motion the bureaucratic ball to obtaining the dreaded Italian driver’s license by visiting my local family doctor who issued me a clean bill of health, but first, I must visit another town thirty minutes away to see an Eye Specialist, who will determine if my forty-something eyes are good enough for these Sardinian mountainous roads.
To see the eye specialist you need an appointment. So, I called the local hotline four times and I was able to speak to a person who quickly directed my call elsewhere, where I was put on hold again. Then, this automated robot that talks too fast in Italian said that all operators are busy and to try again another time. Click.
It’s not the first time I’ve started the process to obtain the ominous Italian driver’s license. I wrote about it some years ago too: about the struggles with the language and how the exam questions are written just to confuse you. I’d love to share that link with you, however, I’m presently blogging from my cellphone and I haven’t figured out how to add a link within text. I’ll share it with you in the comment section.
It’s back to basics it seems, right from the start and, after having driven only automatic vehicles for close to thirty years, this dog needs to learn new tricks and a whole new style of driving.
Stick shift, standard/manual transmission have very different styles of driving. I’m not interested in taking corners like a Formula One driver so the idea of stick shift doesn’t appeal to me in that sense, it just makes me more freaking paranoid about taking a corner in these small mountainous towns.
There’s more foot and hand movements needed to safely complete those actions compared to an automatic car, where the car just effortlessly glides into gear and you’re able to sing your favourite song while the panorama slowly opens before you.
My Italian friends keep persuading me to learn stick shift for the sake of driving like a Formula One driver, as they all take such corners so tight and fast that my stomach flip flops. They love it! I want to vomit and they don’t seem to understand my complete annoyance at having to learn a whole new style of driving and their tight corners.
There is the option of taking all the required written and road tests in an automatic car, but you will be forbidden from driving a stick shift, sounds fabulous doesn’t it? There’s a catch. Most driving schools only provide stick shift cars to their learners. There could be an automatic car available but it’s stuck in someone’s garage 250 kilometers from where you live and it’s missing the steering wheel.
After exhausting all options, I’m about ready to book the written exam, I’m getting three to four errors on the at home quizzes and the odd few times zero errors. I feel confident that within the next few months I can accomplish this ominous goal.
And just a heads up to the people in the valley, I’ll be coming to learn stick shift, take it easy on me. 😉
If you have any tips on the theory or driving exam, I’d love to hear them.