May 29, 2012

I am 16 going on 42....

I don't necesarily remember taking my driving test when I turned 16.  I was finishing my Junior year in high school and the lure of freedom was almost more than I could stand.

Well,  the kind of freedom that comes from sharing your dad's green Nova.....and being the first teenager in the house to drive.

Ok, so there wasn't much freedom but I was excited all the same.

Taking the test to get your driver's license here in Singapore causes great dread in all expats.  Many a lawyer and CEO have been taken down by the test and no one approaches it lightly.  You have to book your test time weeks in advance and it is recommended that you start studying from that moment until you sit in the chair at your Station wiping sweaty palms on your pants ready to face one of life's biggest challenges.

I personally know people who have failed this thing more than once so I had a healthy respect for the test but again, just like when I was 16, the lure of potential freedom was all the motivation I needed.

In true Keri fashion, it got to be 2 days before my test and I still hadn't studied. My friends were nearly frantic in their concern that I would join the ranks of those that had gone before and failed.

It's not that I consider myself above studying or think that I have an innate sense of exactly how many meters one must park from a bus stop, it's just that I can't seem to do anything ahead of time.  I can't pack until I'm down to the wire, I can't work on a project until it's almost too late, and I can't study for anything until I reach a near panic over failing.  I've always been like that.

Last Tuesday I finally sat down and started learning all about bus lanes and odd signage and rules for tunnels and lorries and taxis.  I had to identify the bonnet and boot of a car and figure out which side of the steering wheel the blinker was on.

Thursday I walked into the Driving Center and took my place in line.  I handed the lady my identification and went to my station.  Everyone in the room looked around nervously in anticipation of the 50 questions that would determine our freedom.  We had to choose from one of four languages to take the test and I can't tell you how tempting it was to pick Mandarin just for the fun of it.

The test began and I wiped my sweaty palms on my pants, cracked my knuckles, took a deep breath, said a prayer and went to work.  Ok, so that's a tad dramatic.  I did say a prayer because I just know that I know that I know that God wants me to be able to drive here.

I got through all 50 questions with only one or two causing me to pause.  I sat there as the light blinked at me to end the test.  I pushed the button and PASS flashed up on the screen.  Score?  100%.

I resisted the temptation to throw up my hands to declare myself the winner for finishing first.  Not that it was a competition or anything.  I walked up, grabbed the pink sheet that was the only thing between me and a driver's license.

Except you can't get a driver's license here unless you can show them your driver's license from home.  And my license was tucked neatly away in my safe at our apartment.

Today I went back with all the proper paperwork in order and was first in line ready for my license. Everything went kind of smoothly......only a little sweet talking involved in pushing everything through and I walked out with freedom in my hand.

I enjoyed telling my boys all about my escapades and victory in getting my license and that's when Nathan asked,

So does this mean you're going to drive a taxi now?

Um, no. 

But don't tempt me.


  1. YAY!!!!! But I'd be afraid of those taxi drivers;)

  2. I'm soooooo proud of you!! And my dad had a green Nova too!! Was it a light sea foam green??



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