Friday, January 27, 2012

My blood is up!

Don't really have an image to go with this grumbly post, so I thought I would show off my new couch in the Winter Palace. (I have two cottages here which I refer to as the Winter and Summer Cottages, but a friend upgraded them to Palaces, I think just a tad ironically.) Red colour incidental.

I have just discovered that as a resident, I need to get a French driving license, and as New York State does not have a reciprocal agreement with France, I have to take written and driving tests to obtain one. The Préfecture referred me to a local driving school to prepare for these tests, but when I discovered that this was going to set me back a cool 600 or so euros, I objected. Finally the lady at the Préfecture allowed that I could take the tests after just one hour of practical driving with the school as a Candidat Libre. The written Code de la Route is notoriously difficult to pass and I am dreading it, but last night the school called me up to ask me why I hadn't been by to register. When I explained to the lady that I was being allowed to take the written test as a Candidat Libre, without having to attend driving school, she snorted. "You'll never be able to pass it without us!" she declared angrily, as she saw her 600 euros slipping away...

Thank you Madame. Your sarcasm has transformed my dread into determination!

1 comment:

Penny Phillips-Armand said...

I just saw your January post. I went through the same routine--coming from New York, and having to acquire a French driver's license--back in the mid-1980's, and found the written exam quite easy to pass after studying Robert's Code de la Route for a couple of weeks. You can do it!

What I found more difficult was the shift from Defensive to Offensive Driving. On the practical test, for example, I was instructed to (a) drive as fast as possible without taking foolhardy risks, and (b) pass other cars whenever there was no apparent reason not to do so. Knowing I incline toward caution, I took a few lessons in two Auto Écoles--and chose to do the practical test in Thonon, a quiet lakeside village, on a weekday morning.
Don't worry, and good luck.