Recent articles reference obtaining a Spanish driving licence got me thinking about driving lessons, so after letting the imagination run wild perhaps this is was it is like?
Here in Spain lessons have to be provided by driving schools, so husbands and wives are spared the dubious pleasure and inevitable rows and sulks by teaching each other, so off we go to the autoescuela
Paperwork is far more important than skill or roadworthiness so the first thing is to present the correct documents. Whatever you hand over more will inevitably be needed, so take whatever you can. As Spain is officially a secular society it is no longer obligatory to have a letter from the parish priest confirming regular attendance at Mass, though you will be issued with a crucifix to hang from the rear view mirror and a sticker displaying the Holy Family; these of course come in handy during the scary times ahead
Next it is off for the medical; the fact that you arrive at the centre still breathing means that you have almost passed. Hearing is adequate so long as you can hear a klaxon at 3 metres. The eyesight test is simple as you only have to be able to see the vehicle in front of you as no one looks any further ahead. The reactions test is vital as emergency braking is a critical skill during tailgating
Potential motorcyclists first have to go through a skin toughening regime as the wearing of safety clothing is frowned upon. Those whose skin is deemed inadequate are offered a frontal lobotomy as no one in their right mind would take to two wheels wearing nothing but crash helmet
Let’s take a look at the car. Upon checking the lights it is clear that there are too many, so bulbs are removed leaving only one brake light. Tow bars are fitted so that anyone rash enough to park too close will receive a bent number plate. Superfluous controls are removed such as indicator stalks and courtesy headlight flashers. If the car looks too new, the bodywork is rearranged by hitting the panels and bumpers with a sledgehammer before removing a few layers of paint
Now for some parking practice. Find a nice space, exactly the same length as your car and get into it by nudging the cars on either side backwards and forwards. Bonus points are awarded if this takes place on a pedestrian crossing
Off you now go for general driving. You cannot see pedestrians especially when obscured by vehicles on crossings, so just ignore them. Cyclists must be avoided at all
cost so it is important to cross any double white lines, irrespective of what is coming towards you to avoid this protected species. Advanced motorists can opt for the cycling proficiency badge by learning to ride a minimum two abreast to give them an understanding of the dangers that they cause and how much this p.sses off other road users
Roundabouts are always fun. You could learn to use them correctly if only anyone knew how, so just do your best; driving straight across in whichever lane takes your fancy is sure to gain a test pass so long as you don’t use the indicators (if still fitted) and avoid hitting anyone
On motorways you learn how to enter and leave at will, preferably at high speed and by undertaking other users. You will be taught that the inside lane is for trucks and wussies only, so remaining in the fast lane is important. Slower cars can be dealt with by tailgating and using high beam headlights. Your instructor is well versed in these arts, so after passing your test you too can drive just how you like because for sure he does
Have fun and keep the rosary beads handy!