After five years of being pissed off about not being able to drive in France, I am finally going to bite the bullet and enroll in driving school - or Ecole de Conduite Francaise. oh yes my friends, oh yes.
You probably wonder why a perfectly capable American driver cannot drive in France - and I understand your confusion. Let me clarify...
Only certain states in the US transfer to the French permis de conduire - and California is not one of them. Florida? no probs - but California, sorry, you're screwed. have fun. Sooo yeaaaah, here I am five years later, 27 years old with no driving license in the country where I live. To put it simply, it sucks. (but I am a public transportation pro, guess that's the silver lining).
As I promised back in early January, I will be enrolling in driving lessons and conquer the French system once more!
Here is my update: I have now visited two schools for comparison purposes and checked out all forms of online learning. On Monday I will be walking my booty over to the Boulevard de la Republique and enrolling myself at the Ecole de Conduite Francaise (ECF) to learn LA CODE DE LA ROUTE! It's gonna throw me back about 300 euros, but that's not the point - the point is that I need to be an independent woman in a country that has done everything possible to make my life a living hell in all things administrative. I will CONQUER!
At ECF I will chill with the high school kids from 6pm to 7pm practicing answering questions on the big TV screen with repetitive DVD's going over all of the complicated French rules of the road. Then from 7pm to 8pm I'll take practice tests until they think I am ready to take LA CODE....DUM DUM DUM! Once I pass that I have to start actual driving lessons - and you better believe I'm gonna rock the manual cars peeps - (well, that's the goal at least). Since I already have a licence, apparently I am not obligated to complete the full 20 hours of "behind the wheel" driving, so instead of paying for the 1200 euro "package" they offer, I can just pay per hour - 40 euros to be exact. Every. Hour. ...Awesome.(apparently I'm rich and I forgot).
Pray that 10 hours will suffice - that I will be kicking driving a** on the streets of Cannes before you can say Code de la Route. Because I really can't handle anymore setbacks - I've earned my keep here darnit! Haven't I suffered enough France?? Haven't I?