Anytime you move, the transition requires you to learn. You have to learn your way around a new city, learn your new job, make new friends, and figure out a new routine. Moving overseas is the same, but on steroids. You must do all of those things, but within an unfamiliar framework. You must learn a new language. Learn a new culture. Learn what is considered appropriate and what is not. Learn to drive on the other side of the road. And, you must learn the rules.
Although I have lived in Mozambique for six years now, I was reminded of these facts while going to driver’s education. Up until this point, we have been using our international driver’s licenses with little problem, but we’ve recently learned that we need to get a local driver’s license. This requires quite a bit of paperwork at various governmental offices and we are grateful we have Diniz, our office administrator, to help us through the process. We’ll need to pass the written exam before we can do the driving portion.
I have spent several mornings at a local driving school taking practice exams. The test is in Portuguese and I’ve discovered it has quite a bit of vocabulary that I have never used before. I’ve devoted quite a bit of time to staring at the questions, trying to figure out what they mean. Sometimes the questions make complete sense but I have trouble discerning the differences between the answer choices. I have passed all but one practice test, but Google translate has been my friend, and that will not be an option on test day. Most of the questions have been logical driving theory questions, but a few have caught me off guard. For example, I missed the rule about rickshaws. I thought riquexo meant rich person, which clearly couldn’t be the right answer! Looks like I need a few more practice tests!