Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting a Driving License in Japan Part 2

Well... I failed my driving test.

But my (temporary) loss is your gain! A gain of sweet sweet knowledge.

I showed up at the driving center at about 11:45 with the intention of watching some people take their test before me. Monkey see, monkey do, monkey buy big stinkin motorcycle.

There was no one there. It turns out I was the first one to go for the day. They gave me the next 30 minutes to walk around the course. I had already committed it to memory, so this was a waste. At 12:40 I donned my motorcycle jacket, helmet, and gloves. They handed me extra leg armor and chest armor to use as well. Completely covered in a hard plastic shell, I turned on the bike.

It's been 8 months since I rode, and that was on a 400cc. This was a 750cc Honda CB750. I thought I might rev it and do a wheelie or something mildly hilarious, but I did my practice lap just fine. I stopped in front of the "bridge" section, looked for approval from the judge, and went over it fine and dandy, like wasabi flavored candy. I stopped in front of the next part, a series of cones to maneuver through. No problemo. I stopped at the next section, riding over bumps while standing. Perfection is my middle name. I stopped at the end of a street and made a right turn. Then the judge told me to go back to the beginning. Why did I fail?

I stopped too many times!

You are only meant to actually come to a stop at the 2 stop signs and the signal light. Everywhere else just slow down, look both ways, and proceed.

I'll go again on Tuesday the 22nd. It costs 2950 yen each time you retake the test.

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