Oman Driving License – A Saga (My Story Part 1)
There are a lot of stories about different experiences in acquiring driving license in Oman. I started my saga in 2005 with a manual car. The first training was the drum and slope test. The drums were arranged in a T shape with drums on both sides, the goal is to bring the car inside in backward motion coming from the left and right side. I took this test twice as I hit the drum on the first test.
The slope test is on a slope with a traffic light. The student will approach the slope on a red signal hence the car should stop on a hanging position. Once the signal light becomes green, the car should go forward without falling and without sound from the break and accelerator not being in synchrony. My two attempts failed, the car went backwards . I lost the enthusiasm, I stopped.
In last quarter of 2011, I realized the need of a driving license and I started to hunt for an instructor. Luckily I found a good one. This time I had my blue book (driving student book) amended from manual car to automatic one. I did my training but not on a regular basis again, I always got stressed by my work that I only want to rest during weekends. In the first quarter of 2012, I changed employer and the work location is in Barka, approximately 100 kms away from Muscat, driving lessons were stopped again. I tried to find an instructor in my new community but I was not successful. I even approached a driving school, their instructors do not speak English and a colleague had a bad experience with them hence I did not pursue. The only choice I had was to go to Muscat and continue with my previous instructor.
Below are the student driving cars with stripes to stand out from the road traffic.
Every weekend for the past one and a half month, I had to travel to Muscat to get the training and afterwards travel back again to Barka. Two weeks back, I did the slope test and since it was an automatic car, I made it, the car did not go down backwards.
Yesterday, I did my first road test as I would like to finish the first attempt. I was told by many that one in a million case would be successful on the first attempt, so I better finish it immediately. I was scheduled to do it in Qurum, meeting point was in front of Marah Land, a theme park. We were there at 06:30H, both students and instructors were already waiting for their turn, and of course, for the verdict. I waited and waited and waited.
When my turn comes, the police get into the car, did the preliminaries and off we went. He told me to make a U turn, so I did (it was still in the car park), we crossed the entrance of the car park and he told me “parking right”, hence I parked the car. He asked me if it’s possible to exit left, I answered “no, only right exit”. He told me to go ahead, and go straight. We exited from the car park and entered the road approaching the roundabout, he said to go straight. I waited for the roundabout to get cleared before entering, then the police told me to move. I entered the roundabout and afterwards he instructed me to enter the same car park from where we came from.
Result, “failed”. My mistakes, I parked the car on the left side instead on the right side as he instructed (my stupid mistake); I was slow in entering the roundabout wherein if I entered right away, it will also be a mistake because he will say “why I entered the roundabout immediately?”.
Next test will be after 15 days, let’s see what will be the next mistakes