I was going to keep you updated on this, but the no-longer-a-teenager-son of mine vetoed that plan. I thought taking driving lessons in Beirut should provide plenty of blog posts, but I wasn’t even allowed to sit in the back of the car while he was learning how to drive a car. (I was allowed to pay, however. )
I stipulated he learn stick-shift, but it seems the one stick-shift vehicle they had was often out of commission, and so most of the time it was in an automatic. “Automatic is for sissies,” I told him (even though I shifted to automatic recently, after 22 years stick-shift), so he apparently engaged some friends with a stick shift. The reason I went for automatic is because I got stuck once in an uphill traffic jam in Ashrafiyah for so long that I got cramps in my ‘clutch’ leg, and almost developed a carpal tunnel syndrome in that leg (self-diagnosis, mind you).
I thought I’d sit in on his driving test last week, somewhere in Ouzai, but my presence there was vetoed as well. He did report that the gear-shift was replaced with a broomstick handle. In that case, what could possibly go wrong? And now he’s got his license. He requested a $21,000 vehicle. We declined. We offered him a fifth hand Volkswagen buggy for $2,100. He declined. Will we meet in the middle? I’ll keep you updated.
But in the meantime, we've got one more driver in Beirut. Just what we needed.