3 ton privilege PT. 3

Day 3: The final exam

The exam was very straight forward, all the applicants raced to the testing field in a generic Saudi manner, slippers kissing the ground as they propel their wearers into a 0.5 second head start over their peers. Starting off in a crowded room (Number 7) with a broken air conditioning system, everyone was called by name and told of their designated testing room. I was sent to room 2, where the air conditioning worked and the test takers just hit puberty. After making my way through the crowd to enter one of the testing cars, I was very nervous. Seatbelt, check, mirrors, check, glasses, check. I was ready to go. I was told to make one sharp left turn, and a backwards right sharp turn. During everyone of those turns, my instructor took the liberty of taking them for me, practically taking the exam for me; I only had my hands on the steering wheel, he did most of the turning. He signed my papers and I was ready to go take my theoretical exam. The theoretical exam was the most respectable part of this whole charade, it was straight forward and computerized. 15/20 correct answers were enough to pass, after the day before’s lesson I remembered the location of the answers, rather than the answers themselves and why. I proceeded to pick up my license 2 days after passing my exams.

 

An average of 17 Saudi Arabian residents die on the country’s roads each day, a report by the Kingdom’s General Directorate of Traffic has revealed. The news comes after the World Health Organization found Saudi Arabia to have the world’s highest number of deaths from road accidents, which now make up the country’s principal cause of death in adult males aged 16 to 36. First reported by the Saudi daily Arab News, the study found that 6,485 people had died and more than 36,000 were injured in over 485,000 traffic accidents during 2008 and 2009. (See more at: http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/03/saudi-arabia-death-toll-driving/#sthash.DbRz7C2V.dpuf) . After finding out what it took to get a driver’s license, it was no longer shocking, rather expected.

 

Tl;Dr: Get your shit together driving schools.

3 ton Privilege pt 2.

 

Day 2: Intensive course

Much like an excited child I went to my class, only to wait in line. Have no fear, segregation is here! Saudi citizens of course, got preferential treatment and entered first(Any non-Saudi’s in the class were applying to a public license, allowing them to drive Taxi’s etc..) . The class had a relatively excited and fun instructor, that did nothing other than control the crowd. Instead of teaching us anything, he simply put on a video of all the questions that might come on the exam in all the languages that were available. Don’t speak Arabic? Tough luck, you’ll have to sit through it in silence and waste your time. Even if your language had passed, you weren’t even allowed to leave the class for a breath of fresh air, we all had to sit in a small room, breathing each other’s breath for 2 hours before the instructor asked us to go out with him to the field. Standing in the field, exposed to the 12pm sun in the 45° C heat, the instructor entered his cooled car and showed us what the exam procedure was. Parallel parking, sharp turns, 2 roundabouts connected to each other and a cross terrain, it all seemed so unnerving and I felt like I would finally have the exam that is required to let me know that it’s not as simple as I thought it would be. We all returned to the class, people literally running to get the good seats, hell to get seats in general, seeing that the class was so full some people had to stand. A few minutes later, the instructor entered with stacks of papers that had the names and which days the exams were to be taken at. The first names were pretty much all expats, with dates as far as a month later. When it came to the Saudi applicants, the instructor simply asked “Would you like to do it tomorrow?”, naturally everyone wants to finish as fast as possible and everyone nodded in agreeance, myself included.