Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm lighter!

So I was finally able to cross off the number "1" item on my lightness list: I now have an italian driver's license! This has been weighing on my for y-e-a-r-s. Short story: I have a california driver's license that I obtained when I was sixteen. I moved permanently to Italy when I was twenty-one and they have a law here that if you stay for longer than one year, you have to get an italian license. But I always found a way around this. I renewed my foreign license for about ten years, I lied about how long I had been in Italy. I was stopped every once in awhile (in Italy they can make random checks on cars for no reason) but even though they always told me that it would be better to get an Italian license, they always let me go. Until four years ago. That's when they slapped me with a huge fine and told me I had to get one. Please note that in my twenty-nine years of driving I have never gotten a ticket and I have never had an accident.
You're probably wondering why I didn't just go get the dang license. Well, for one thing the test is really difficult. The written test has lots of trick questions and most Italians can't pass it. Second, the whole thing is costly. From start to finish I probably ended up spending about a thousand dollars. Lastly, it just takes a lot of time to do. Time that you probably have when you're sixteen and can't wait to get behind the wheel, but when you're forty-five and have two kids and a husband and a full time job, the last thing you want to do at night after you've put everybody to bed is study to pass a driving exam. But I did. Especially when I figured out that the written exam was more like a grammatical test, that I had to be really careful to read the question and understand what I was answering. Once I passed the written exam I had to go back to driving school and re-learn how to drive the way that they wanted to see me drive during the test. This was really hard because after you've been driving for nearly thirty years you have little habits that you just don't notice anymore. Like not keeping your hands on the wheel all the time, shifting down without braking, going just a little over the speed limit...I'm proud to say that on the day I took the driving test I was the only one of five candidates that passed that afternoon. See, it was hard!
I can tell you that getting the license has made a huge change in my life. I don't think about it anymore (whereas before I thought about it day and night, literally) and when I DO think about it I'm just really proud of myself. A little ashamed too. I could have done this years ago and I didn't because I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. But I was. Now I have to think about how many other things I don't do because I think that I can't. But I can.


anji said...

Whooooooo! congrats!

Yay Get Lighter list!!

dg said...

kick ass, j! it sounds like a freaking complicated process over there. i loved that last sentence, it is so very true :)

(btw it always looks so insane to drive in italy, well it does on TV anyway. so my hat goes off to you ;)

(PS thanks for your comment the other day. i really really appreciated it)