Licensed =D

While in Syria, I took – and passed – my drivers test. Basically you drive around a compound, label the parts of the engine, and say – word for word – the road sign descriptions. Oh, and the car is standard, you have a crowd of people – mostly guys – gawking, yelling encouragements and obscenities, and all the talking must be in formal Arabic, which I can barely understand let alone speak.

So I memorized the signs word for word – the Syrian in me came really handy: I didn’t get it, but I could say it – I learnt how to drive standard, and payed a little extra money so they’d turn a blind eye to the mechanical part of the thing. Because they teach you on a built engine, and then test you on one that’s been pulverized into itty bitty metal and rubber pieces. And for someone who used location to memorize (the crankcase is on top of the… timing chain!) I was soooo screwed over. 

So drive around the city for fifteen minuets? Parallel park with no car behind me? 


I’ve had to squeeze my car in a space literally the size of it. That was nothing

No, I was more concerned with not speeding (but the road is empty!) and giving the right of way to other people. Oh and using signals, obeying traffic signs, stopping at a yellow light, not weaving, proper lane changing, and just about any thing that involves following a rule or regulation. 

Yeah. It kinda turns out I’ve picked up a ton of nasty habits. 

Butt…. regardless of all that: I PASSED!! 

Yay =)




Filed under Canada, Syria

16 responses to “Licensed =D

  1. Congratulations 😀 hehe I know exactly what u mean too! LOL

  2. Congrats!

    LOL @ the cartoon.

    Lucky girl you are! Here I am. Though I’ve been driving since I was 16, my Philippines license has expired and the lovely embassy here tells me the only way I can have it renewed is return to the Philippines.

    Hence, I must take ALL 40 driving classes (which includes simulated driving!) in order to get a UAE license. How exciting.

    • Aww, that must be sooo frustrating! I felt the same way when I came here, and I couldn’t just switch my Syrian license plus I had to go to driving school to reduce my insurance later on…
      But, inshAllah, you’ll get it done soon =)
      And it’s sooo worth it when you’re done!!

      ps: simulated driving? like a car game? that actually sounds kinda fun….

  3. Ayesha

    Congratulations! I’m 18 but I have yet to become fully licensed, though I can drive okay I guess =P

  4. Sadia

    Congratulations! I hope i soon get mine too, hopefully this summer 🙂

    Liked the part where you had to pay extra for turning the blind eye, it made me smile cuz that is the way some things are done 😉

    Enjoy driving and be careful! 🙂

    • Thanks! Hope you get yours too =)
      And yeah, sometimes you have to do what you have to do! You know, you can actually pay about 200 dollars and have your license hand-delivered to your house too. But that seemed a little extreme to me =/
      Is that wack or what?

  5. Congratulations!!

    Getting a driver’s lisence is the BEST part f growing up. I can even forget the pain of thsoe spotty awkward years for that. Yay SS! Go! (but not too fast, eh? 🙂 )

  6. I was going to say that you must have parallel-parked INSIDE a mall… and then I saw the cartoon posted.. same thing.. I bet the cartoon was inspired by.. u? 😉

    Congratulations nevertheless! 🙂 When you get a driver’s license overseas, you can drive ANYWHERE!


  7. So does this mean you are able to drive at home? I was a bit confused on that part. Or are you only licensed to drive in Syria? My thoughts — if you can drive in Damascus, you can drive where you live now. Not that I’ve been to the latter, but having been to the former, I don’t see how it could be any worse. 🙂

    • Yup =D
      I now have to licenses: Syrian and Canadian. And YES!! When I was registering for a course – for auto insurance reduction purposes – they’re like do you need a course in defensive driving? I was like hun, I already learnt it with the best! It doesn’t get more defensive than driving in Syria… crazy, crazy people!

  8. Wei Erman

    May seem odd, but I just arrived in Syria, speak no Arabic and wonder how I could make a driver’s license here (as a foreigner). If I may ask, how did you find (or even select) your driving school, and what were the formal requirements for you to obtain the license (besides your short-term memory test)? I.e. what kind of documents did you need to submit? Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Hi! KK, I’ll try my best to walk you through the process. First, choosing the driving school was relatively easy. If you live in Damascus then you’ve most likely seen two bargin finders? Well in them there are many, many car schools ads. I called around till I found one that was close, cheap, and started soon. As my luck would have it though, it turns out one of the instructors spoke english! So that wasn’t too bad.
      As for the test there are three parts: 1) road signs 2) mechanical 3) practical. Afterwards, if you pass, you have to get your papers. This the absolute worst part. I can’t quite remember where the place is, or what it’s called but all the offices are there. You have to take an eye test (at their place, not any optimist of your choice), obtain a bill of health, a paper stating you don’t have a criminal record, you must have six pictures with you of which they stamp and sign a few. Then you take this whole mess of papers to one office there, come back in a few weeks and pick up your licensee.

      There is one last way to do it. You pay some guy around 200 dollars and he does the entire thing. You have to go take the test, but it doesn’t really matter if you pass or fail. He’ll also get all your papers in order and take you there with him to show you around I believe.

      It’s tough though! Have you considered translating your license? It’s much easier! You take the license to a sworn translator, and then take it along with all the above mentioned papers to office where they take them.

      Also have you contacted your embassy? Do they provide assistance or guidance?

      I know this response is very general. Anything else you need, please let me know =)

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