If you don’t get my twitter, you don’t know that I passed my written section of the French Driver’s license in FRENCH with no translator! All that worry, all that work and it turned out to be really simple. I didn’t know my palms would sweat when I get nervous, but I sure do now. We had to hold a little devise that looks like a remote control for a TV to enter our questions and I was afraid that I would drop it with my sweaty hands, either that or short out the computer system when it came time to check my answers.
I slept poorly the night before worrying about the exam. I woke up at 3, 4 and 5 AM before I finally got up at 6 AM. Maurice drove me to the meeting point where we arrived at 7 :30, waiting for everyone for the 8 AM time. Then we walked over to where the test is given. First it was locked for 15 minutes until a person finally arrived to open the doors. Then the guy giving the test had to set up the computer system and had some sort of problem and we didn’t start the test until 9:30. We then took the test which was so much more simple than the tests I had been agonizing over in class and with the DVD’s I had at home. The worst part was waiting my turn waiting for my answers to be checked. I actually didn’t miss any! Out of about 50 people taking the test, there were 8 or so who didn’t pass the test which surprised me. When I walked out of the building Maurice was waiting for me across the street. I held up my arms in the Rocky mode, the sign of triumph, and he looked like he was going to cry. It was a huge relief for both of us.
Now I have to get ready for the driving section of the test which I will do later in September. I am going to take a couple of sessions with the people at the school to make sure I am up to speed-pardon the pun. I’m really not worried about it but I probably should be, especially parallel parking.
Of course, I also had the huge groups of people two days before the test. A dozen on Monday for dinner, then 27, down from the 32 originally planned, for lunch and dinner. I had lots of help but of course it all came down to Maurice and me when it came to cooking and preparation. Maurice prepared a daube for dinner (a provencal beef stew) for the 12 people with potatoes. I fixed a cool summer tomato soup for a starter and there was cheese and a salad after. Lunch the next day was a mixed grill with salads and a big bowl of my mashed potatoes and brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce for dessert. It was all consumed, no left overs of anything, so Maurice and his sisters went to the grocery store and returned with more meat to grill. It was gone in no time. The swimming pool heaved like the ocean, the air vibrated with French, and we all sat around and watched the sun set. Everyone was very nice and it was a lot of fun. All of the women wanted my recipe for mashed potatoes and my guacamole. My secret ingredient in both is garlic salt that I buy in the States. I’m going to have to bring back some bottles as gifts the next time I go to the States. When they left several of the women crossed the fingers of both hands and said, “Merde!” which, it turns out, isn’t just a good curse word but a French way to wish someone good luck which they did for my test.
A gift from some of Maurice’s relatives. They went to the island whose name is on the bottle which sounds really great. I never did get to taste it. It was gone really quickly. Don’t worry, I found plenty of other things to drink.
Maurice arranged for the same twelve people to return for lunch the next day after my test. After having so many people for the whole day the day before it was nothing. Twelve? No problem. One of Maurice’s relatives asked what they could bring for lunch and I had them bring roasted chicken and we had left over salads and desserts so it was easy.
Maurice and I won’t know what to do with ourselves now. So quiet and only two people eating. No classes to go to everyday preparing for the driver’s license test. I’m so glad that’s behind me. Now the slow slide into September and an upcoming trip to the States. Life is good.
PS-anyone want to buy DVD’s both in French and English to practice for the test? A special deal just for you.