WE CAN DRIVE!!! First things first, we must back up two weeks.

The entire process of being allowed to drive in Doha starts with an eye test. Our van to this test was the best ever! We crammed about 11 people into this very old van with very little air flow, not to mention very little air conditioning. This made for an especially pleasant ride. Anyways the eye test was hilarious and consisted of a projected image that was both blurry and shaky. Luckily, we all passed. Whew!

Hot, Hot, Hot!

A few days later we all got to be 15 years old again to attend drivers ed!

Did you know there are 13 triangles to safe driving?!

Nothing makes you feel like a     teenager except for pictures of car crashes… Cars upside down, cars smashed up against a pole, cars split clean in half. Motto of the day- It’s the driver that is safe or unsafe, not the car. (Hmmm I was certainly never aware of that before!) We talked about following other cars at a safe distance, using turn signals when over taking (passing), how to give way (yield), and what a stop sign looks like. Then we got to practice driving. It was probably the best 6 hours of my life. It was good to know that after one month of not driving myself anywhere I still had all the mad driving skills I had before….. shocking, I know.

Later that week we got to go take the actual driving test. All the women in the very early morning and then the men in the evening. Here is a breakdown of my day:

No, we did not get to ride on this little toy…. drat!

Broken down buses at 4am are NEVER fun!

I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to catch a bus at 4:15…. at 4:25 the bus broke down…. at 5:05 we were split into three cars to go to the driving school…… at 5:20 one of those cars got lost…… at 5:35 we made it to the driving school…..6:05 we got on a bus to “take our driving test”…. From 7:24 and 35 seconds to 7:26a I drove in the car with the instructor……. at 7:30 we were taken back to the driving school to await our results….. at 7:40 we found out the good news, we all passed!……at 9:11 I had my temporary license in hand!

If you noticed the timeline, my driving test consisted of close to 1 minute and 25 seconds in the car. I drove on a straight road and then pulled over. I also passed my sign test, good thing I still recognize my stop signs and traffic light colors! (I joke, there were some signs specific to the area, but nothing too difficult). Luckily Tony also passed his driving test. Unfortunately by the time the boys finished their test, the office who prints the driving licenses were closed. Sadly, the license Tony received the next day expired only five days later- HA! So, we had to wait another 5 days for someone from my school to argue continually on his behalf so that his temporary license would last until the middle of October. Tony finally received his license yesterday and has been officially allowed to drive. Yay! He is thrilled to not be on house arrest anymore :)

PASS!!

Welcome to Doha! Again- do not try to be efficient when doing government related activities. If you plan on having the longest day of your life, you just may be right! The take away point here is, we have a rental car and we can go to the store when we want, makes a big difference in feeling settled. Until next week……..

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