Tara Kamiya



Took my road test today……….Failed.

It was one of the worst experiences ever in my life. I pray it never happens to you and it won’t after you read this post.

First of all, I live damn near an hour away from the testing and practice center.

Second, I had to take my two kids under 5 with me.

Third, my husband must have slept 3 hours and fell asleep while driving us home.

Now what actually happened during the test………..

My appointment was at 8:45 am and that was a lie. When we got there turns out it is really first come first serve and I ended up being the last person to take my test around 10am. Out of the 10-15 people waiting I think one person passed. The others I spoke with were on their 6th and 7th try. Now you can call them idiots if you want, but my understanding of probability does not want to believe that all of these various people cannot drive after 6 friggin’ tries. Scared the crap out of me.

I can drive, got my license in America when I was around 25. I practiced in Japan for a few months off and on but my driving was not the problem.

Turns out they want you to memorize the course and drive it. When I passed the written test they gave me a paper map of the course which stayed buried in my bag for weeks, big mistake. If you do not remember the course it will be impossible for you to drive on the correct road during the test. It is one big practice area and you have to choose where to go based on the course outline you were given.

Also, on paper map it does not indicate all of the markings and signals that you will encounter.

Already nervous and exhausted, I step next to the car to take my test and the instructor asks me to take my hat off.  It might as well had been my underwear. Psychologically that threw me off because I was comfortable and ready to do the damn thing. Removing my hat exposed me and that was not good for business….it was all down hill from there.

So after I was screamed at and told that I was not in America and told to get out and get in the back seat, I started crying. Yes. Pregnancy, exhaustion, and frustration ate me up. That crack about it not being America did not help either.

Here is what I learned today.

1. The practice courses are not optional. They tell you that crap, but my husband informed me that everyone in Japan practices 3-6 months before they take that driving test. My few outings in the family van did not stand a chance. He also said that what I described is nothing like what any Japanese person had experienced.

2. Japan is not your friend. It has been listed as one of the least friendliest countries to foreigners and no matter how much I don’t want to write that, it has to be true to some degree. I’ve read several articles about this and how difficult it is to get citizenship here.

3. If you keep hearing it, believe it. All of my Japanese friends and family members kept asking me if I practiced. Not if I could drive, not if I had license in my country, if I practiced. Lesson learned. Lots of times people blow smoke up your butt. Japan is not one of those places.

So in conclusion, joke is on me. My husband signed me up for 3 practice lessons (to start) before my next test in December. At $70 a pop If I cannot pass the second go round I am going to give up until I find some kind of angle. Ain’t nobody got time for that.



2 thoughts on “FAIL

  1. Oh, how awful. Did they apologize to you after making you cry? Making a pregnant woman cry is one of the cruelest things a person could do!

    It may be hard to believe and sound cliche right now, especially when everything turned out opposite to what you were expecting …. but one day, this won’t be on your mind, one day, you will get the chance to retest, and one day you will pass.

  2. The problem is not that you are a foreigner the problem is that the guy is an *sshole!! I am sure he was rude and mean to everyone. Your husband should have asked explanations afterwards. Maybe they test your ability to drive under stress.

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