Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Ups and Downs of a Young Driver in El Salvador

Arianna wrote this piece about the challenges for teenagers driving in a big city. I hope you can see her humor in her essay. She has a knack for making me laugh - even on the dullest assignments! Here's Arianna:

In El Salvador, driving is allowed at the age of 15, but only after rigorous paperwork and insurance money. I am proud to say that I learned to drive at the age of 13 with my dad’s help and despite my mom’s pleas in the heavy Salvadoran traffic. A juvenile license is not so hard to get- you only need to take one month of certified driver’s ed and take a vision test (in this really blurry and overused machine with poor lighting, signaling whether the letter E is upside down or sideways). You also must take a “theory exam” on a computer and, finally, a practical test.

I failed the written part once. I got a 5.8 instead of the passing grade which is a 7. I was devastated because I usually do well on multiple choice questions (for some odd reason, I couldn’t answer what would I do if I saw a dog ahead of me on the left side of the street….go figure). I had to wait 15 days for the retake. After studying, or highlighting, the WHOLE two booklets, I found out that I had to avoid the dog and honk within 50 meters. I passed the test with an 8. Immediately after that I went to SERTRACEN, which is the office in charge of giving you your license. I had my picture taken, and gave them all the necessary information to obtain that glittery blue plastic that would allow me to roam the streets of San Salvador-from 7 to 7- without adult supervision.

In our society, it is very common to encourage your children to drive at a young age. My dad learned to drive when he was 11, and my mom, well she’s an exception since she learned to drive at 20. To be honest I am not overly excited to drive, and I would pay my brother to drive instead of me except for the fact that he just loves driving. He likes to swerve in and out of traffic, honk obnoxiously, rush to get to places, and wait at the long stoplights.

If I’m not thrilled to drive under normal circumstances (7 minutes to get from my house to school), I am less thrilled to drive now that an expressway is being built and my normal school route has been closed. I must say that if in a good mood, I enjoy the urban culture and adventure- the crowded and colorful buses with really complicated names (Maritza Esmeralda, for example), the pedestrians who stubbornly refuse to use the pasarelas, the puzzling traffic circles, and the illuminated streets of San Salvador filled with thousands of headlights. Weird tests with blurry E’s, lots of paperwork, and traffic are just a part of the ride. In my experience, driving here is a roller coaster-fast, uncontrollable, and electrifying.


Blogger Kadmiel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Kadmiel said...

Congrats on passing your driveing test. I know it can be a little scary to drive in el salvador butbelieve me no different the driveing through the brooklyn tunnel :)just watch out for the other guy !!

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's up everyone, it's my first visit at this website, and
post is in fact fruitful in support of me, keep up posting
these types of articles or reviews.
My page ... cartoon free movie porn sex

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?
Also see my web site: daily-wet-tshirt.com

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this web site presents quality depending content and additional material, is there any other web page which provides these information in quality?
My web site contractors in Orlando fl

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this web site presents quality depending content and
additional material, is there any other web page which provides these information in quality?
my web site - contractors in Orlando fl

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site
thus i came to “return the favor”.I'm attempting to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

Here is my web blog; Arabic Books

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this paragraph fully on the topic of the resemblance of most recent and preceding technologies, it's awesome article.

Feel free to surf to my web page; http://zorporno.com/category/386/teen-girlfriend/

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i ever discover whoever wrote this, im ganna comply with
the list, once i get her in im ganna pee in her pussy kill her ass!

shit shes probly a vergin

Feel free to surf to my homepage: cars that attract women

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Define "high heat" the smoke level of avocado oil, at over 500 degrees F, is the highest of any
oil. Coconut oil has the identical smoke stage as most "household oils"
(i.e. peanut or corn oil 450F).

Also visit my page - taste of home Healthy cooking subscribe

8:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home