Driving Lessons in Ireland

Thankfully I will never have to do my driving test again in Ireland, having failed it the first time round, it’s not exactly the nicest of experiences to go through! But now it’s my husbands turn to get his!

He already has his licence from Mexico but from what I understand I think he can only drive here for 1 year on that licence. Plus the insurance would be absolutely crazy for him, so he decided that he would get his Irish drivers licence which he would then have forever! He doesn’t mind because it’s another way of immersing himself in Ireland, becoming part of the community and just settling in.

I got my licence over 10 years ago but now it has all changed and it’s a lot more rigorous. When I was taking my lessons I didn’t have to do a set number of them. After I got my provisional licence I had to wait a certain number of months before I could apply for the test, but that was really it! Now it has all changed!

My husband now has a booklet which he has to bring with him to every lesson with an approved driving constructor. At the end of the class they fill it in on what was good/bad and they sign it with the date. My husband has to do at least 12 lessons with a constructor. This wasn’t the case for me!

Source; rsa.ie

Another thing is that my husband cannot drive by himself. He needs to be accompanied by a person who has a full licence whenever he drives. When I was learning this law didn’t exist, so of course this new law change has made it extremely difficult for provisional learners to drive to college or work or anywhere else! My husband could get insured on our car but we once got a quote of €4,000, so that was definitely out of the question! So for the moment he has been taking a 1 hour class every week. Unfortunately that is the only practice he gets because we just aren’t willing to pay thousands of euro for insurance! If you don’t know, Ireland is fantastic at ripping off it’s people, with car insurance being one of them!

Before receiving his provisional licence he also had to do a theory test. From what I have seen there are more questions relating to drink and drug driving than when I done it. I don’t think there were any relating to these when I done my theory test!

Overall I do think that these changes are good, especially having a mandatory number of lessons, but I do think it’s unfair that they also must have a full licensed driver with them wherever they go. Insurance has sky-rocketed so many just can’t afford to pay for insurance and then also needing another driver with them!

Hopefully my husband will pass without needing to get insurance for extra practice with our car. My insurance is pretty high as it is so having to pay €4,000 just for his is out of the question!

Aisling

A Mexican Birthday Party

adult alone black and white dark

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

So one of my fiancés aunty just turned 70, so all her family and relatives were invited for a small party in one of my fiancés uncles restaurants. Now I’ve been to a few of these ‘gatherings’, and on a few occasions I really didn’t enjoy myself.

I’m not saying the people at these gatherings are terrible people, they are not at all! They are all just so nice, friendly and every single one of my fiancés relative are lovely people. I’m very lucky to be joining such a loving family. So it’s really not about the company.

My problem is that I can’t speak Spanish well enough to communicate. Well I can speak some Spanish, but I definitely cannot give my input on anything other than ‘What’s your favourite food’, ‘What did you do yesterday?’… etc.

I usually feel sad when I’m at these parties, just due to the fact that I can’t talk. I can’t join in. I can’t give my opinion on anything. So I usually just sit there, look around, and smile when there is a joke being shared. I just feel so uncomfortable. That’s why I usually get anxious going to these events.

So we arrived in Mexico city and we met everyone and thankfully I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I really enjoyed the day. Although I still didn’t understand pretty much anything, I wasn’t as anxious or stressed when I didn’t understand. I think this was due to the fact that there were about 20 people in the room. Usually I get more anxious when it’s a smaller group.

So I think thats what helped the situation a lot. The thing is I want to talk to people, I want to make jokes, I want to join in, I want people to see the real me, and not the one that just sits there and doesn’t do or say anything. My fiancés family don’t know what I’m like, and I really want to show them. So it’s difficult. I feel like they see my body but not my personality.

I suppose I want them to see ‘Look, this is who your nephew/cousin is going to marry…. sometimes she’s funny, she enjoys talking about this or that… she seems like a nice person, I know why Rafael is with her’.

I guess I just want to seem interesting, because when someone doesn’t speak your own language, it’s hard to get to know that person and find out what they are like. Then you kind of ignore the person because whatever you say to them they won’t understand, so you just keep away from them.

And I don’t want people to think that of me. I think my fiancés relatives are beginning to see what I’m like though. Most of them speak English so that helps ALOT! But you know, when they are together they just speak Spanish.

There are a few more gatherings (Mexican families LOVE family gatherings) so I hope they will go ok too. I just wish my Spanish was great, and I could blabber to all of them. Not perfect, but good enough that I can speak fluently, confidently and get my point across. That’s all I want for the moment.

It’s very frustrating… and these are the times when I really miss Ireland and being able to speak English to everyone.

Aisling.