A while back I was moaning about the drama of getting a driver’s licence here in France. So let me update you with more whining and complaining. We did it all. We begged and we pleaded. We (Neil) wrote long, eloquent letters en française outlining why two drivers with 27 years of driving experience a piece should be allowed on the road. We procured driving records from 4 different provinces as well as ancient Canadian licences and letters from every authority known to woman. We consulted with a contact at the Canadian embassy.

We even drove to Dijon (multiple times) in this mess …

for a meeting with the powers that be. And while the foggy drive brought back fond memories of my years on The Rock and Dijon does have the world’s most inspiring mustard shop …

let me tell you what Dijon does NOT have: an ability to say oui. Dijon also has no understanding of how badly I am opposed to going to driving school in a foreign country. Let me tell you something, if the classes were in Newfanese and they were giving out free back massages and ice-cold Ketel One vodka martinis at the bloody door, I still wouldn’t want to go. Okay, maybe, but only for one lesson.

As you all know, I am exceedingly entitled. I find it difficult to accept that we can’t make this work out in our favour. Our final defence was a submission of literally hundreds of pieces of paper to a tribunal administratif  in Dijon …

Yes, it might just be the world’s most beautiful administrative building but the beauty ends at the door. We received a very polite but very firm kiss off. Ah, French bureaucrazy. Somebody pass me a fourchette to stick in my eye.

Alors, nothing to do but bend over and take it. Our only option is to enroll at the auto-école here in Semur. I forgot to mention that their take on this debacle is a grand total of about 900 euros. Still, they have at least agreed to give me my test in our own car, so I can by-pass the whole “I’m the only person in France who can’t drive a standard” humiliation. But I will have to parallel park, something I always avoid on account of the plates and screws that hold my neck together. So bonne chance à moi on that front.

As for the written test that even the French say is unnecessarily complicated, now just imagine. The road rules book is like an encyclopedia of minutiae and the practice questions are the nit-pickiest I have ever seen. I’ve actually written exam questions for doctors that were less convoluted than this mess. I can barely manage ordering at a French bakery let alone understanding a whole book on the nuances of yielding in a roundabout.

Anyway, it’s all in how you look at it, right? This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to finally get back to my French study. Already today I’ve learned the words for steering wheel, windshield and three different expressions for son of a bitch.

 

 

 

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