I’m a firm believer that when I don’t pay attention to certain things that the universe or whatever you may prefer to call it, sends a message and forces a refocus. Sometimes it’s a minor adjustment, like quitting a job or moving house. And sometimes it’s a major one that knocks you upside the head saying ‘Hellooo. I’ve been trying to tell you something for awhile now and you required a bit more active intervention.’ Yesterday was one of those days.
I woke up. Like usual. I was doing my usual list of things in the morning. Taking care of the housekeeping of life so I could kid myself that I would be editing my book in the afternoon. Both my conscious and subconscious mind knew this was not going to happen, but I was acting like it was. And, I thought, perhaps this would be the day when I got serious about signing up to get instruction on a Spanish driving license.
At one point I decided to go from a sitting position to a standing position and PooF! My back went out. And suddenly my plans were out of my mind in a flash and was a ball of pain on the floor, 10 feet from my mobile phone, trying to breath and crying in frustration. It only took me 30 minutes of pain, fighting to a sitting position and slide crawling across the hardwood floor to get to my phone to type ‘HELP’ and summon Jeff who was out of the house.
He came home and got me situated, pumping some pain meds into me and attaching a TENs device to my back that we got when we were in the US. The relief was slow in coming but it did come. And Jeff’s initial suggestion of ‘Shall I take you to the Dr.’ was met swiftly with the realization that it was the 9th of October. Even bars were closed. Dr. Angeles wasn’t going to be within a mile of his closed office.
So I went from a list of ‘Other more important things to do’ to ‘This is all you can do while laying on your back’. And the two things I could do were editing my book and looking up traffic schools and all the requirements I’ll need to meet to start my classes. I had been kicking these cans down the road for quite some time.
It hardly seems fair. I have been driving forever. I know what do do. And taking a theory test in Google translated English is, I understand, rather difficult and fraught with alot of double negatives. So I’ve been putting it off. But then I looked through the requirements and we couldn’t even start the process until we had been here 6 months and proved that. So I’m not so late in doing this after all. But the rub is that while I would have been able to drive on my International driving license for the first 6 months, I can’t now as of the 6 months and one day. This leaves a gap in our ability to drive – or ride the motorcycle. And our insurance won’t pay if we are in an accident.
So I reached out to some online schools for classes and practice tests. Next I found out I have to get a ‘Padron’ stamped no later than 3 months ago. This is the town hall certificate that says we’re registered in Valencia as residents. Ours is now 7 months old so I found out where we go to get another one. It will require standing in line, paying a fee and getting the same document with a fresher date. Like vegetables in the grocery store.
Finally, I learned I have to be psychologically tested to ensure I’m not so crazy that I can’t drive. Mental fitness. I wonder if I should be worried about this one. If they ask me who the president of Spain is, and the like, I’d fail it. But I do know the day of the week and the year so maybe they’ll give me the certificate. The test must be done at an approved ‘Instituto de Psicologia y Medico de Trafico’. In other words, that’s all these people do is evaluate mental fitness for those wanting a driving license.
Once I present these documents and pass the theory test I will hire a company that will teach me to drive a stick shift. This is the part I find so scary. I never learnt. All my parent’s cars were automatic. And, when I got older it was just easier to stick with that. In Europe, everyone drives a stick. And if I get an ‘Automatic only’ license I would never be allowed to drive a manual transmission. So I need to bite the bullet and just do it – no matter how intimidated I feel.
But today I’m still flat on my back, and since this week is mostly a holiday, I’ll be putting it off until next Monday to start the process. But with nothing else to distract me, I’m going to be editing my book for a few days – at least. Maybe in the future I’ll listen to the little messages that are being sent my way to avoid the pain and discomfort that comes with ignoring them. But something tells me that learning to drive a stick will come with a pain all its own. Oh well, no time like the present to put that off for a few more days.
9 thoughts on “Ring! Ring! The Universe is Calling”
I never went to a class. My Spanish is too terrible and it would have been a waste of time. I studied at home for about 6 weeks then called to tell them I was ready to take the theory test. I wasn’t in a hurry. The intensive course that you mentioned sounds good.
Glad that you are on the mend. I wouldn’t say that the English version of the driving manual is a google translation….it’s more like British English. I had no problem figuring it out. The driving school will teach you how to drive a stick…..each practice driving test cost about €24. You can have a translator in the car with you if you like but not for the actual test. For the theory test my advice is to read, read read the manual and take the practice tests over and over again until you pass all of them because the real theory test in English is exactly like the practice tests. Overall, it’s really not that hard. I passed the tests and my Spanish is terrible. 😁
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Very encouraging! Thanks. Did you do the theory prep online or take and actual class for that part?
Excellent advice from Carol! I don’t know how they are doing it these days, but back when I did my driving test, once you registered with a driving school you could just go there and take practice tests. The advantage of going there over doing it online is that there will be someone there, in case you have any questions. Of course, you can combine both too!
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>I just heard back. There are no English driving schools in Valencia so we will have to go to Madrid for in intensive weekend course in English. And English speaking driving teachers. They take us on the actual course for the practical test to practice. But it will have to wait until Dec as the weekend intensive for Nov is when we r in Brazil. But I’ll see I can get the book in English
Stop worrying. Driving a stick is easy. You will learn in no time.
I don’t know. A boyfriend tried to teach me in college and just yelled the whole time. Maybe its PTSD. Perhaps since I wont understand anything my instructor says will help make it easier.
Oh no! I hope you’re better soon.
Thx Wendy. I’m on the mend.