I’ve been in France quite a while without getting a French driver’s license. Had I been in one of fourteen states that had repropocity with France, I could have easily transferred to a French license. Texas, unfortunately, is not one of the states which surprised me as Texas and France have political ties, at least they did at one time. In any case, I seldom drove until we moved to Provence. I was vaguely aware that I probably wasn’t legal but I don’t think Maurice was. I don’t know how but he suddenly became aware of the fact that I wasn’t covered by our insurance without a French driver’s license. Frankly, I’d rather just cross my fingers that I would never get caught especially when I found out how expensive it is to take the required classes-at least I don’t need to do the 20 hours of driving with some intructor-not to mention the fact that the classes and the test are all in French. Despite the fact that I just finished my month long intensive French class I am not hopeful.
Maurice and I went into the driver’s education office in the village closest to us. When he explained my plight and my lack of French and the fact that I had to take the test anyway, the lady in the office looked me in the eyes and said, “The test is very hard”. Just what I wanted to hear. Maurice and I went into the classroom where a video was started. It would show a situation on the screen and then ask a question and you had to pick out the correct answer out of four possibilities which wouldn’t have been too bad but they only gave you 20 seconds or so to answer before they went to the next question. Right away I realized that I didn’t have the vocabulary used for driving in France, not to mention taking a test. The lady gave me a book with all of the information in it which I have been slowly going through with a dictionary by my side. In the class they show a different section of the total test and you mark the correct answer and the lady then checks to see what we missed. No computers, I’m afraid. It’s done the old fashioned way. If you miss less than five, then you can take the driver’s license test. If not, you have to keep taking the practice sessions until you manage to make less than five incorrect errors.
Well, I was feeling depressed and overwhelmed. I’m just too old for this. But I have to suck it up, I guess, and do it anyway. We did find a class in Paris which is done in English and which sends a translator with you for taking the test. If I come up with over 1100 Euros I might think about it. I did order the DVD of all that is shown in the class here but it’s in English so I sent for that. I’m studying the book every day and hoping that there is some room left in my brain for all of this new information.
So I have some new French words that I am trying to remember:
Rouler-roll along. They use this for driving. Roulant is a smooth, good road. A Rouleuse, interesingly, is a low prostitute.
Clignotant is to blink-as in a yellow blinking light.
Dos d’ane-a speed bump. It literally mean the back of an donkey.