Hey, Can I have a Ride?

Don’t you ever wish you could just turn back time and remain ignorant of certain knowledge you’ve acquired??  I don’t, for much, but this past Friday I WISH I could!
It started quite simply with an innocent letter from our car insurance company saying that the couldn’t re-new the account, but never said why.  We figured that it had something to do with my foreign license and so while Chris was out doing errands I started calling around for new quotes, getting continually denied – ending up with me calling our current provider and asking why we couldn’t re-new… the woman said, “because you cant drive, you’ve been in the country for more than a year.”  This rule I thought I knew, I thought the rule was that you couldn’t drive on a US license for more than 12 months from the LAST TIME YOU ENTERED THE COUNTRY.  For this reason alone Chris and I spent a few days (and LOTS of money) in Paris in 2007 and experienced Brussels earlier in December (THE TRIP FROM HELL) – all in aid of me getting a new stamp in my passport, thus ensuring 12 more months of driving.  The woman on the phone said this was illegal and to stop driving immediately (not that I was driving, but to never drive again — you know what I mean).  I didn’t want to take this answer and so I called the DVLA to get an “official” answer.  I told the woman on the phone the situation and she assured me that it has been illegal for me to be driving in the UK since July 2007 – and that it was the rule that you could drive 12 months from the time you became a RESIDENT of the UK.  She then told me I shouldn’t drive and that I HAD to get a UK license before I could drive again.  So what do I have to do?
1. Apply for a provisional license – £50
2. Take driving lessons – ££££££
3.  Take the Theory Test – ££££
4.  Take the Practical Test – ££££ (and also RENT A CAR FOR THE TEST!)
WHAT?!!?!?  I could, and I DO count my blessings every.single.day that I had NO problems for those months that I was an unknowing rebel, and because of that, and my HORRIBLE luck – I wont take a chance driving the car until everything is done and dusted with the shiny new license … it will increase my heavenly £16.16 monthly insurance payment, no doubt, because to the companies I will be a new driver – even though in reality I have 12 years experience and NO CLAIMS – but I don’t think they’ll care.
I went into the situation strangely confident — with my horrible Life in the UK test (see archives) I didn’t know anything – but with this I had nearly 2 years practice…  the downside??  That confidence has been SQUASHED with 4 practice tests all ending in FAIL.  I think I have more studying then I thought …
And what do I need to study??  The Highway Code – a foreign book of sorts that deals with 4 different kinds of pedestrian crossings (pelican, zebra, toucan, and puffin) and questions like:  A person herding sheep asks you to stop you should:  B – stop and switch off your engine … and so much more — I think I am in for some serious studying – 2 years practice or not!
So now I am stuck in STUPID March!  BORING March – and at the mercy of family to get us where we need to – NEED being the operative word — I know I’ll be cursing the DVLA when I have to WALK to the doctors tomorrow, leaving the house at 8:15 to get there – I’ll just pray for no rain (yeah right)!
And so Internet, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to learn the rules of the British road – and to pray not only to pass the test but that, that pesky MONEY TREE will start sprouting pounds so I can pay for it all!!
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