Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Confession

I'm going to go ahead and out myself before Husband decides he can't keep his mouth shut any longer: I failed my Korean driver's test.
Here's how that happened:

First, as many of you can attest, there occasionally exists a comfortable competition within a marriage. When I mentioned to Husband that a friend had sent me a link to study for the Korean DL exam, he scoffed and replied "It's too easy, babe. I took it without studying anything. Just use common sense and you'll be fine!"  The gauntlet was thrown down: if I study, whether I pass or not - Husband wins.

Second, when I arrived in-country, I noticed a few things: people park wherever the hell they want. Stopping at red lights is an option, not a mandate. Speed limits are merely suggestions. Pedestrians in Korea are either the bravest or most idiotic people I've ever met. My conclusion: No one follows any sort of traffic rules.  I totally don't need to study. Plus, if I do study, Husband wins.

So I didn't.

Test day: I looked good. The hair was shiny, no spit-up on my jeans, and I'd found the perfect sweater to show off my sparkly new anniversary present from Husband: a diamond pendant necklace.  In fact, as we walked over to the building where I was to take my test, I cheerfully remarked to Husband that everyone was noticing my pretty necklace. He then pointed out that "everyone" was really a bunch of male soldiers, and that perhaps it was not the diamonds I was sporting that was catching their eye.Touch√©, Husband. This still doesn't mean you win.

Then I sat down to take my written test. The young lady who handed me the booklet informed me that I could only miss four questions on the first section, and five questions on the second.  Not that I was concerned. It's just common sense. You'll be fine.

The first section consisted of general rules related to driving in Korea. "When pedestrians are in the crosswalk, who has the right of way - motorcyclists, pedestrians, or motorists?" Motorists, of course. Everyone else just leaps out of the way. "When is it unacceptable to pass another motorist on the road - when you are near the top of an incline, when it is night and it is a country road, or when you are approaching a pedestrian?" Um...is there an option D? I still don't think it's the pedestrians. "When no speed limit is otherwise posted, what is the legal maximum speed - 30 kph, 50 kph, or 80 kph?" Eighty. It's definitely eighty. What is that in miles per hour?
The second section consisted of road signs. Some were easily discernible: Stop, Do Not Enter, Falling Rocks. The rest...well. It was hard to tell whether pedestrians were allowed to cross, whether they were being advised not to cross, or whether there was a limit on the number of pedestrians you could legally hit without having to report yourself to the local authorities. To be safe, I marked "No pedestrians" on every sign that had people. Definitely common sense.

When I stepped back into the reception area, I handed my test paper to the Korean gentleman waiting at his desk and walked outside to await my results with Husband. Not one minute later, the man came outside, slowly shaking his head.What the hell? No way he could've graded the whole test; there was like fifty questions!! "You, miss, very bad. No pass. No license."  Husband: "Hey, is there like a study guide she could use?" A pause, taking in my glare. "Could you just email that to me?"


Whatever. I still won.

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