Monday, November 3, 2014

Driving Lessons

I, Alisa, am in the process of taking driving lessons. Yes, I already have had my US license for years now, but here in Ireland in order to get your Irish license you kind of have to start all over again.

You can drive on your US license for a year once you move here, then you have to start the process of getting your Irish license which entails taking a written test for your learner's permit (done!), and then you have to take at least 12 driving lessons before you can take the driving test.

Another thing that makes this a little more challenging for me is that I am finally learning how to drive a manual car. You see, you can get a license for an automatic car here, but that means you cannot drive a manual car with that license. You have to actually take lessons and have your test for a manual car in order to get a manual license. If you have a manual license it means you can drive an automatic car as well. Since there are a lot of manual vehicles here, we don't want to limit ourselves when it comes time to buy a car again. It has taken a little while, but after my lesson today I have started feeling more comfortable with it.

Stephen has already taken the lessons and test and has gotten his Irish license (Woohoo!!). I have just been dragging my feet because, well, who really wants to go through all of this again? haha Hopefully I will be able to take the test here in the next month or two and pass.

You may be wondering (since we drive on the left side of the road):
1. First gear is still all the way to the upper left. You have to change gears with your left hand.
2. The clutch, brake, and gas pedals are all in the same order.
3. You have to drive on roundabouts clockwise.
4. Some terminology is different such as "dimmed headlights" are "dipped headlights".
5. They teach you to use the emergency brake (called the handbrake) on a hill start so as to not roll backwards. Stephen and I both find this much easier than trying to quickly go from the brake to the gas.

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