Thai drivers license adventures!!!
Hope you guys are all having fun with your snow days!! We actually do miss it (but only a little 😜) We’ve been too busy working on getting our Thai drivers license!!!! Trust me…it was a nightmare!
Getting our drivers permit was super easy, we just had to fill out paperwork and off we went. Aaron has been driving motorcycles for a while now, so he is super good. But this was all new to me so I had to practice…ALOT. We heard there was a class we had to sit through, then a written test, then the practice test. Sounds pretty basic right? WRONG!
We went to the Thai version of the DMV with a sister to get some information about the driving class. Turns out, one had just started, so they hurry us up into the class room. Class was already in session, so all 50 Thai students turn around and stare at us while we walk in late and try to explain to the instructor why were there…and did I mention class is 5 HOURS LONG?!? and yes, it’s all in thai!! Because we weren’t expecting to take the class, we didn’t have any food for lunch, so the sister was super nice and ran and got us something. So we found ourselves in a 5 hour class not having a clue what was going on, eating some very strange salmon and rice triangles…this was one of those moments where we felt like “wow…we definitely really do live in a foreign country…” we never seem to know whats going on, and thats quickly becoming our new normal! It made us think of an episode in top gear where they get their drivers licenses in Vietnam…different language, but definitely the same experience!
So we didn’t know when our written test was going to be, but worried that it might be immediately after class, we took the time to study (in English!) for our test. Thankfully they do have the written exam in English! And even more thankfully other need greaters had shared with us a website that had sample questions on it so we could practice and know what to expect. I was worried because many local Thai people have to take the test several times before they pass. One sister in our group took it 5 times before passing!! You have to get 45 out of 50 questions correct to pass. After class finished we all signed something that we weren’t quite sure what it was, and then funneled into a line, for what we didn’t know. Turned out to be a color test and afterwards a reaction test. After that we were funneled into a room full of computers…yes we were about to take the exam! Thank goodness we had studied! Here are some of the funny things that were on it…
- Military tanks ARE acceptable forms of transportation on public roads.
- you ARE allowed to drive immediately after taking diarrhea medicine
- stopping on the left side of a busy public road IS an acceptable form of parking
- you can make a U-turn pretty much anywhere except for a bridge
- you CAN carry whatever you want on your bike as long as it’s not obstructing your vision
And those are just the funny ones we remember!!! Thankfully with the help of that website we both passed the first time! Aaron only got 1 wrong (and he was mad about that…such an over achiever….) and I only got 2 wrong. After that we had to come back another day to take the practical exam…
What an adventure THAT turned out to be!!!! Aaron wasn’t worried because he’s been driving the bike for months. Me on the other hand, I had just started and so I was super nervous! Nobody told us what would be on the test, and we didn’t find much accurate information about it online. Most of it seemed ok…we had to drive in a figure 8, zig zag around cones, show we can use our blinkers and obey traffic signs etc. But the very first part was horrifying…we had to drive in a very slow, straight line on a “balance beam.” I know this doesn’t sound or look difficult…BUT IT IS!!!! I think because this is testing your balance. To turn left or right on a motorbike is all about shifting your weight, so to drive slowly on a narrow line is testing your ability for balance on a bike and keeping an even slow speed. Any jolt of the throttle will cause you to loose your balance. Even the smallest shift of weight would make you drive off the balance beam. It was only about 8-9 inches wide. So do you think we did awesome or terrible?!?! Watch our video to find out!!! Keep in mind there were like 50 Thai people standing on the side watching us, the funny white people, the whole time…no pressure!!!! And did I mention how amazing they all were at this?? You could tell watching them they all grew up on motorbikes. They all did it with no problems at all!!
So yeah, we both did HORRIBLE!!! Even though Aaron and I drive fine on the bike in general, to pass this test was nearly impossible! They give you two tries each time….we both failed the first time. After a lot of practice we went back a second day… thankfully Aaron passed but I failed again!!! I cried the whole way home. I practiced for a few more days…cried the whole way back to the test center….and PASSED!!!!! I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have though because we are supposed to stay on it for 11 seconds…I think I was only 9 or 10. But thankfully she let me slide! THANK GOODNESS!!!!
So thats been our adventure the past few weeks!!!! We are so, SO happy that this is over with!!!! There was so much praying, so much crying, and so many laughs! But its finally done with, and we are both officially licensed Thai drivers!!!!