Ireland makes me feel young again!

4 Apr

Yes, I feel like I’m sixteen again….because I have a driver’s permit and get to take driving lessons.

I went through all this at sixteen.  My high school required every student to take a full semester of driver’s education, complete with classroom work, a driving range on campus, and on the road driving.  And I did very well – if not with an A, at the lowest, a solid B.

But that means squat in Ireland.  I get to do it all over again.  And then take a driving test to get my full license.


Now, if I was from another EU country, I could just transfer my driver’s license over.  But a U.S. license doesn’t transfer.  The only perk we have is getting time off the waiting list if we  fax over our driving records (otherwise, we have to wait six months before we’re allowed to take the final test.)

It’s all just a bit annoying.

The plus side is…um…well, I know obscure driving practices in two countries!  And my permit is considered a form of identification, so I no longer have to carry my passport around to prove who I am (which always made me nervous – I’m always certain that my purse will be snatched only when I’m carrying my passport.)  And I’ll learn more ways around the area – instead of constantly getting lost or accidentally discovering a new way to go.  And maybe I’ll lose my anxiety about parking in very narrow spaces.

I will say – I am a much more aware driver here in Ireland.  You never know when a bicyclist will appear next to your car, or someone will jaywalk, or you have to squeeze your way through a narrow street.  That said, I feel like a worse driver than before, as things like parking on sidewalks, driving on sidewalks, driving on the wrong side of the street to get around a car parked oddly…it really isn’t so much driving as doing this really intricate dance with your car through traffic.

It really is an experience!


6 Responses to “Ireland makes me feel young again!”

  1. wonkafonka April 4, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    I spend a week in Ireland last year, and we rented a car to add to the adventure. My friend thankfully did most of the driving, in part because there were certain things about driving on the “wrong” side of the road that I could NOT get used to. Every time I wanted to turn right, I had to look over my shoulder do make sure no one was coming – it felt so unnatural! 🙂

  2. Jessica Storm Williams April 4, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    I feel like that all the time in Japan! Even when it’s a Japanese person driving, I feel nervous.

  3. Angel Brookins April 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I have a friend who’s Irish, and when driving with her years ago in Salt Lake City, I cried … I think that they should have made HER take a driver’s ed course before giving her a license to drive over HERE.
    She scared me stupid by driving in an imaginary third lane of traffic on a busy two-way street (and this was before the road ‘improvements’ that they made for the 2000 winter Olympic games) … scary stuff!

  4. Audrey April 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    It’ll be nice to feel a bit more independent, I’m sure! Congrats on getting your permit. 🙂 And best of luck with the asphalt jungle and off roading – certainly sounds like a challenge!

  5. Jessica April 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Not that it’ll be much of a consolation but US driver’s licences are not convertable in much of Europe. Most has to be re-done.

  6. bodi April 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    It was the same for my father coming the other direction … when my parents emigrated to Canada, Da had to re-take both the written and the road test. Heck, back then, even moving between *provinces* required repeating the whole process, and my parents lived in BC for a year (which meant taking the test when they got there, and again when they came back to Manitoba, since it had been a year).

    Crazy times … May the increase in your skills and confidence be totally worth the hassle!

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