Blog Archive

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MuthaF%@ckin' Roundabouts, or how I got tricked by a civil servant

Well, folks, looks like I'm Spain's bitch again.

No, scratch that.

I'm Spain's leather-clad, gagged-yet-whimpering little gimpy bitch. That's much more accurate.

Remember in my last post how I told you that I was a horrible driver? Well, that was a slight exaggeration. Besides a few parking tickets, I have an impeccable driving record (Mexico notwithstanding). While under observation (i.e.when I'm taking the driver's test I just forked out 400 euros to take), I drive with the precision of the popemobile chauffeur trying to make a U-turn in the middle of a pro-choice parade.

That fact (belief, ridiculous notion, whatever) stands in stark contrast to the fact that I failed my practical drivers exam within the first 30 seconds of driving. No exaggeration. Just a big 'ole fuck you for your effort.

See, here in Spain, the point in any exam, be it a University exam, a state civil servant exam, or a driving exam is never to actually test your aptitude. It is always, always, always, to see who is sly enough to overcome the sleight of hand and utter trickery thrown one's way. Learning processes in these contexts only exist insofar as they enlighten on how to skillfully manage the cunning and art of deception employed by the examiners and exam writers.

So I show up to the car school at the butt crack of dawn to meet my group that I'm supposed to caravan with to the DMV. There are three of us all together; me, it being my first time taking the exam, another girl, it being her 3rd time taking the exam, and still another it being her 4th time taking the exam. I was feelin' all shades of hopeful at this point, as you can imagine. These two are nervous as hell, with good reason, so I agree to take the exam first.

We arrive to the DMV to meet our state examiner. He looks like a dick and barely mumbles, "buenos dias" before he's demanding we sign all kinds of forms.

Finally we are ready and I position myself in the driver's seat.

Deep breath.

Adjust seat first.

Adjust mirrors next.

Fasten seat belt, yo.

Await instructions.

"Ma'am, please go straight until we reach the roundabout," the examiner says.

My heart is kind of pounding, because, fuck, I hate roundabouts and feel like I'm gonna get sideswiped by every other car going round. But there isn't much traffic and hell, I've been driving for 16 years. There's no need to worry.

As we slowly approach the roundabout the examiner says, "Please take the second exit out of the roundabout". Sweet, I'm already in the right lane, so no worries of side swipage. I cruise along passed the first exit, counting mentally, "One Mississippi..." and then I see the next exit "Two Mississippi!" I signal, of course, with my blinker, 'cause I am ON that shit and I take the second exit as per the muthafuckin instructions.

"Stop the car. You have just entered a street that is closed due to construction. You have failed the exam. You have just been made Spain's little bitch"

(okay, I made up that last line).

We back up to look at the sign and I see this:

Honestly, have I completely lost it, or does that look like a closed road to you, what with the two blue arrows and the rails that have been removed so that cars can pass, and the cars actually passing??????

The examiner proceeds to tell me that I should have ignored his instructions to take the second exit and in fact should have taken the third exit and that by following his instructions, I had disregarded a vertical sign prohibiting entrance.

The other two people taking the tests also failed again.

As soon as Spain has had enough of my money, or as soon as I learned all of the possible tricks that can be thrown my way, like the examiner telling me to do things that are apparently illegal, but that don't look illegal to anyone with full use of their faculties, I will have a driver's license.

Round two is next Wednesday. I might instigate a mosh pit if I don't pass.

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Logical Libby May 13, 2009 at 6:25 AM  

They tricked you into failing? What happens next time? You fail because he didn't say Simon Says?

Blues May 13, 2009 at 6:33 AM  

Ultimately, it was my fault. It just angers me the way they go about things. If they spent half the time and energy they do trying to see how clever people are at solving their little mind games while trying to concentrate on the road, and spent it instead on actually enforcing road rules, the state would have more money (through fines) and getting a drivers license would be accessible to everyone (not just those that have thousands of dollards to fork out).

You would think that according to how tough the exams are, people would drive extremely well. Not so, it is absolute chaos; many people cannot explain what half of the signs mean; it is common practice to run red lights and block the intersection creating traffic problems, and to park wherever the hell you feel like it, even if you block people in.

Anonymous May 13, 2009 at 7:26 AM  

400 euro? Do you have to pay that everytime you take the test? Holy shit. On the other hand, if they made it harder and more expensive to get your license here, there'd be fewer people on the road and better public transporation. But 400 euro? That's insane.

kate May 13, 2009 at 7:56 AM  

Wow. Just, wow. Fuckers.

Mister Crowley May 13, 2009 at 10:01 AM  

400 EURO?! That's a down-payment on most small cars in India!!!!

You don't need to take a driving test here, per se. You just sign up with a driving instructor, and once you're through with the course, he'll run around and get your license for ya. The total cost usually comes to around 60-70 Euro. I love India (despite what Keywork has to say)

Rassles May 13, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

That is such horseshit. Did the instructor have a head? What about a clipboard? Would you have been denied access to further tests had you forced contact between head and clipboard?

Son of a whore.

Anonymous May 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

Fuck. You. Spain.

I refuse to eat tapas until you give Blues her licence.

Xbox4NappyRash May 13, 2009 at 11:49 AM  

Crowley, €400 is a down payment on a fucking government in India.

Heh, Spain shagged you.

Better luck next time.

Sarah May 13, 2009 at 11:58 AM  

Thats just ridiculous!

Denise May 13, 2009 at 1:40 PM  

I don't understand why you don't just go back to the States and get your license like Luisito did? Sounds like it would work out a lot cheaper.

Or wouldn't they recognise it, as ahieving it wouldn't involve greasing their palms or knowing their aunt's second cousin's husband (please, don't get me started on Spanish bureaucracy and "enchufe"...)

Dirty Pirate Hooker May 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

Ok, I'm going to need clarification on how much 400 euros is in comparison to USD. K, thanks!

I would be so pissed. I would have bitch slapped him and slammed his head into the dashboard. But that's why I'm Bimbo Baggins!

flutter May 13, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

oh hell. get thee a bus pass

neil wykes May 14, 2009 at 1:52 AM  

See, you forgot to drive like a robot, the only way to pass a test Bastard! Absolutly agree with your reply to enforcing the rules and lowering the cost of the test. After my stroke I had to pass a driving test whilst having a psychological test, it didn't seem much different to your, 'normal' test

neil wykes May 14, 2009 at 1:55 AM  

Forgot to tick the "email follow up comments.." so I'll have to waste everyone's time by writing another reply with it ticked. Tra-la-laaa

Blues May 14, 2009 at 10:43 AM  

@Hereinfranklin - sorry, should clarify, 400 is what I have paid up until now. It will cost me another 45 to take the exam again. If I fail (likely), it will be another 200, and if I fail again, an additional 250. I'm just SO sick of forking out money when I KNOW HOW TO DRIVE.

@Kate - you got off easy!

@Mr. Crowley - Ha! I think I would love India too.

@Rassles - he had both head and clipboard and I was longing to unite them in holy matrimony.

@Praying to darwin - thanks for the boycott, if i did, I'd starve.

@Xbox - hahaha. yeah, i got boned. I'm considering bribery at this point.

@Sarah - Hi! I know.

@Denise - I have an American license. It's not valid here if you are a resident.

@DPH - 542 muthafuckin dollars

@flutter - I have a bike pass, and normally walk or take the bike, I just feel like I need to do this so I can feel the freedom of driving like I do there. I don't like relying on my husband every time I want to go anywhere in the car. But yeah, I'm starting to doubt it's worth the hassle.

@Neil - wait, what? A psychological test and the drivers test at the same time? Oh, I think I got the wrong test. I think they were testing human patience.

Emily May 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

That's ridiculous. From your picture it fully looks like the road is open! I have an international license from the US (you have to get it in your home country), which means that for $25 and a few minutes at AAA each year, my US license is validated around the world. And I do not have to take a Chilean driving test. Technically I think after a certain amount of time I should just get the Chilean license, but I could probably pull the gringa card and say I didn't know and promise to never do it again and be ok.

Te May 14, 2009 at 4:10 PM  

Oh dear. I was thinking I might try and get my license in Spain eventually, but now I'm not so sure. The first time I tried for it, about 5 years ago, I failed in the first 30 seconds by driving down the wrong side of the road. No trickery, just me; what chance do I have with these Spanish jokers.

Florida Girl In Sydney May 16, 2009 at 6:38 AM  

I've got fucking roundabouts here too and they blow monkey balls. Get some freaking stop signs for godsakes.

Gypsy May 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM  

You've been had. That entire country is taking it up the butt from the DMV. Construction? Really?

Ellie May 17, 2009 at 12:36 AM  

My Man hates it when I tell him blogger stories, but I had to recap this one for him. Having live in Spain, we're not 100% surprised; we can just see it happening. We are, nonetheless, aghast. Aaaaaarrrg!

A Free Man May 18, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

European driving instructors are fascists. I failed once in Britain as well. Of course, I blamed it on the opposite side of the road thing. You don't have that excuse ;)

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