status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
My husband doesn’t drive.
It’s a family thing: his father didn’t drive, his mother doesn’t drive and out of his three sisters, one brother, one wife, one sister-in-law and three brothers-in-law; only two of us boast the necessary requirements to legally get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and make it go brrrrrmmmmm in a satisfactorily motionful way.
And that is all fine and dandy (as well as being loads better for the environment); but as I would find it infinitely reassuring to know that my other half could, if necessary, whizz me to the nearest A&E in case of a kitchen utensil mishap, nasty shower-related slippage or paranoid-new-mother-real-or-imagined-baby-illness panic; my hubby has kindly taken it upon himself to set sail into the complex and rather choppy waters of the Italian driving examination.
Unfortunately, both his lengthy working hours and his current reliance on bus timetables make attending the initial theory course, and subsequently sitting the theory exam, at a local driving school a logistical impossibility.
Thus his only option is to go it privato.
1) Half a day off work to take the bus to the next town in order to queue at the Motorizzazione (eng. DVLA, DMV) for relevant forms.
2) An entire day off work to:
Queue to see his GP for a certificate stating that he has no health issues that might impede safe driving.
Queue to see the official driving school doctor who transfers whatever the GP has written onto yet another form and checks hubby’s eyesight.
Go to post office to purchase various official stamps to be stuck on various official forms, and get all forms and identity documents photocopied twice.
Have two passport photographs taken.
Return that same afternoon, and queue to see official driving school doctor in order to pick up form relating to morning appointment.
Take said form to post office to be photocopied twice.
3) Half a day off work to take the bus to the next town in order to queue at the Motorizzazione and hand over all the completed documentation for them to process.
No exam date can be set until the paperwork has been processed, and the appointment for the exam cannot be made by telephone or email, so…..
4) Half a day off work to take the bus to the next town in order to queue at the Motorizzazione for an appointment to sit the theory exam.
5) Half a day off work to take the bus to the next town in order to actually sit the theory exam.
If he fails the first exam (a very real possibility, given that Italian driving theory question-setters are notoriously keener on testing one’s grasp of the subtle complexities of the Italian language than they are on testing one’s ability to tell a t-junction from a roundabout) then he will have to take half a day off work to make a subsequent exam appointment followed by half a day off work to sit the exam.
If he fails the second exam, then he will have no choice but repeat the entire process all over again.
And in the joyous event of him passing? Well, we haven’t crossed that bridge yet; but I feel quietly confident that we will at that point discover that the practical part of this learning to drive saga has even more potential for will-to-live sapping befuddlement than the theory.
(I’m starting to think we might be better off just investing in a family rickshaw for those theoretical emergency dashes… ;-) )
This is Status Viatoris, mildly curious that a country putting so many flaming hoops in the path of potential drivers can still offer up such a vast number of tailgaters, lane-straddlers, gesticulating swervers and drivers apparently ignorant of the fact that their vehicles come equipped with both indicators and mirrors, in Italy.