So am I the stereotypical biker girl or what?
Finally bought my first vehicle as a grown up and it feels so good. On the newer side, shiny black, and for only about $500 USD!!!
But let me start at the beginning…
Throughout training an inside joke for those of us learning to scooter was asking if we were DTS? …or Down To Scooter. We would ask each other this for practice, etc.
Being “DTS” entailed much more than I thought. All throughout the practices I felt really comfortable and by the time we were getting ready to take the test I felt pretty well prepared.
Test Round One
The test day came and it was blazing hot. To complete the test we had to get a physical exam done, take the written exam (which qualifies you to drive a 50CC scooter) and then we had to take a scooter safety course…entirely in Chinese.
The physical exam was a joke. We had to make a hand motion like we were revving the engine, and squat.
The written exam was a bit more tricky. The people working at DMV tried to insist that our group couldn’t take the test because we hadn’t been in Taichung for a year. That sent Iris, our coordinator, into a frenzy making phone calls and pulling strings. (Most ex-pats here drive illegally, they forgo this entire process and just buy a scooter, hop on, and call it a day.)
The written exam itself was actually a bit challenging. There were super obscure questions like, “How tall can an object be if you are carrying it on your 125cc scooter?” ……What?
After we all passed the written exam, we had a quick break for lunch.
So the actual test has a straight line, and you must drive on it without touching the “bumpers” and be slower than 7 seconds.
If you pass the straight line test then you take the second part. It involves starting and stopping on a little runway, doing short turn, and then stopping again. Sounds easy, but it is surprisingly difficult.
So the first time I took the driving test I was unreasonably nervous. I just felt like I had too much riding on this test. I was starting school in the next few days and I needed to have a scooter in order to get there. I am, in fact, the only person in Taichung that has to have a scooter. You can’t even get to one of my schools if you don’t have a scooter.
The scooter I was going to test on had a malfunctioning left hand turn signal and that would automatically deduct from my score. For some reason that really freaked me out. In addition, when I got up to test the proctor freaked out over my scooter which was not reassuring. So when it was my turn to go I totally blew the first straight line test. The second time I made it almost all the way through and my back tire hit the bumper the last second.
Because of this, my sweet principal and co workers have been driving me to work for the past few weeks. Needless to say they are angels.
Test Round Two
I tried the test again, but instead of doing the test on Iris’s scooter, whose we had practiced on, at the last minute we had to switch to the DMV’s rental scooter because Iris had to leave for a meeting. The DMV scooter was fine for the straight line test, but when I tried to do the other portion of the test, I was just not used to how the bike handled, and I failed (again).
However, two other kids from our group tried it with me and they also failed, so it made me feel a little better. One of them pointed out that in the U.S. we had to practice FOR HOURS before we were even allowed to take a driving test (which contrasts greatly with the in total hour and half that we probably practiced…)
Test Round Three?
So, if you fail you have to wait one week before you take it again. The next week rolled around and we couldn’t try to do the test because our coordinator had a commitment. We tried for Thursday but I realized that by the time I left school at 4:20, I would barely make it before the DMV closed at 5.
So I told Iris that I would be interested in getting a 50cc scooter instead. It isn’t nearly as powerful, but it gets the job done. I thought this would be a good move is because a 50cc doesn’t really go fast….so I will be less likely to kill myself on the thing.
Anyway! That brings us today! Finally bought my first vehicle as a grown up and it feels so good. Newer, black, and for only about $500 USD. Watch out Taichung, here I come!