Now that I’ve dealt with the humbling experience of failing the French drivers’ code test not once, but six times, I’ll make this post short and sweet
After the first disastrous French drivers’ code examination in Nimes — with a translator (read more here) I braved on to take the test again in Uzès, in French. For 30 euros, instead of 110 euros, I figured I could afford to fail. It would be good practice for my French, too.
I blundered in French for three consecutive weeks — #2, #3, and test #4
For test #5, I signed up again in Nimes. With the translator. I would surely pass.
Remember the handheld device that messed me up with the translator the last time?
A Humbling Experience
Back to Uzès for Test #6.
I signed up for test #6 in Uzés. In French. Same time. Same place. Failed.
Test #7. Same time. Same place. To be perfectly honest, I was going to give up on taking the test if I screwed up a seventh time — even though, according to the French guidelines, I can take it as many times as I wish… or can afford.
During the week a sympathetic friend sent me n email with a link to an ad on Leboncoin, the French version of eBay. The ad included a photo of a used “Twizzy,” Renault’s “sans permis” car. The “no driver’s license” car looked like the perfect choice for me. A cut above a 4-wheel motorcycle, the Twizzy could get me to the grocery store, to a friend’s house, to the train station… anywhere I would care to go … at 40 kilometers per hour .. on back roads.
Humbling Experience #7
Walking into the test site for the seventh time — with a totally different attitude — I found myself singing Kenny Rogers’s song, “The Gambler.”
“Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”
I was definitely ready to “fold ‘em.
Perhaps it was my “give a damn” attitude that made the difference.
Whatever it was … I passed!
French Drivers License. Next Step
According to the French government, I have five years to take private driving lessons and to pass the practical part of the driver’s test. At the rate I’m going, I’ll need every year I can get. Actually, a Twizzy is looking better and better.
Meanwhile, I’m taking a break. I’m off to visit my family in the States.
While I’m there, maybe I’ll take a road trip. By myself. Driving with the license I’ve had since I was sixteen.