Driving People Crazy // The ins and outs of learning how to drive

By Sheva Schapira

You know how the world has become a crazy place, and sometimes you don’t want to leave your house because it doesn’t feel safe outside anymore? Well, what I’m about to share will probably not do anything to improve that feeling, but it may make you realize that the things you were afraid of until now are much less frightening by comparison. So here it is: I am pleased to announce that at the ripe, old age of 30 I am finally learning how to drive! The general reaction I got from people when I told them is what you might expect had I confided that I was planning on joining ISIS. Perhaps this is because hand-eye coordination has never been my strong suit, and anyone who knows me can picture how this might present a challenge when trying to operate a motor vehicle.

Since I am currently living in Israel, it was only logical that I would take my driving lessons here. As anyone who has learned to drive in the Holy Land can attest, it’s a whole different ball game in this country. The differences start with the written exam you need to pass in order to obtain a permit. For those of you who have taken a permit test in America, where you literally need to have the IQ of a baked potato in order not to pass it, you should know that the Israeli “theory exam” is nothing like that. I actually got a permit a few years ago in the States but never did anything useful with it, and it has long since expired. But I do clearly remember the exam, which required little studying and was almost embarrassingly simple. For starters, all of the questions were multiple-choice. Second, the options were not the kind that required an overabundance of functioning brain cells to figure out which one was correct.
Just to give you an idea of the difficulty, here is an example of the type of question they would ask: What should you do when you see a stop sign?

A. Push the gas pedal to the floor and run over all the pedestrians in sight.
B. Drink four gallons of alcohol and continue driving while intoxicated.
C. Stop and yield to pedestrians and check for other cars.
D. Text while you drive and park in front of the nearest fire hydrant.

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