Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 162. Divine disposition

The village of Pepelino, where there was a Kurgan regional lunatic asylum, where I worked and where to I later attracted Pet’ka Kozlov (his last name could be translated as “a goat”) together with his wife, consisted of the only street of three and a half kilometers long. Even though a post office, a store and a hospital were located in the village center, and we lived not far from the hospital, the village seemed to be huge to Peter, and he almost immediately bought a motorbike “Voskhod”, or as it was colloquially called a“Goat”. Sure enough, I immediately inquired, whether Peter was not worried that people would say something like “one goat is carrying another one”? We were friends, and even the joke was a rude one, Pet’ka did not mind it and drove to the store only on his bike. Pet’ka started right away bothering me with an idea that I had to buy a similar bike for myself. He was saying that we would ride around the area, that he would introduce me to hunting, and we would ride together to gather mushrooms and berries. So there were the final arguments he persuaded me with. For about two months we were driving around without any driving licenses and rules. Then Peter suggested getting driving licenses. In the village they were advertising a driving training course, which was taught by a husband of one of the hospital nurses. Generally speaking, we got the certificate of finishing the course without any problems. A team of examiners even arrived to the village to conduct final examinations. Peter and I knew by heart all forty examination cards of ten questions in each, and passed the theory test from the first try with distinction.


The motorbike driving test we passed also from the first attempt. Though as for a car driving test, we had some problem. Neither Pet’ka nor I passed it from the first try. In my case the car moved backwards when starting, and Pet’ka, when starting, forgot to switch on the turn to the left light. We were politely explained that those were very gross mistakes and allowed to have car driving re-examination in a week, but that time at the district center, the town of Kurtamysh. Peter got very upset, as he had had a driving license before, and driving, in his mind, was not a problem for him. And I missed a chance and did not swear to him that I would pass the test from the second try as well. That was a mistake, I comcluded, when I failed the driving test for the tenth time. And when I failed the test the seventeenth time, I honestly announced that that was a big mistake.

Yeah, the epic of taking a driving test made me popular among traffic police officers practically of all district centers of Kurgan region. For some reason I assumed that they intentionally made me fail in Kurtamysh district and went to take the test to the one of Kargopol. And then to Dalmatovskiy, and after that to Kurgan regional traffic police station. They recognized me and welcomed like a family member, saying: “Ah, here is a psychiatrist from Pepelino!”, though every time I did something wrong, I did not make way for an obstacle from the right, or I did not put anyone to watch, when I was driving out of a gateway. Generally speaking, I will not remember now all odd things I was doing during those examinations.

However the seventeen examinations I failed definitely tell about something. To cut a long story short, after the seventeenth failure, I made up my mind to quit. I had no car at that time anyway, and I was already issued the license to drive a motorbike.

An incident made me resume to a new try to take the driving test and receive a license to drive a car. And that was the try number eighteen. Once a man with depression was delivered to my department, when reading his case history I found out that he was a driving school director at a town of Shadrinsk, Kurgan region.

Good gracious, how it could happen that I was practically everywhere, but not in Shadrinsk to take the driving examination. And my former group mate Galya Vinnik worked there as the head of the urology department, and for sure, she had good contacts in the traffic police there. Though I thought better of it, I would pass the examination by myself. I treated Ivan Semenovitch like the rest of the patients, without any special attention, but he recovered faster than usually, and when being discharged, he enquired, what he could do for me to express his gratitude. So I told him my long story of taking car driving exams. He laughed and offered me to come to Shadrinsk in a couple of days to receive the driving license. I nearly made him depressed again by my rejection. He was very much surprised, when I asked him to do me quite a different favor. I asked for his permission to study at his school, but instead of the full course, only for two weeks, and he would give me a personal driving instructor for about four hours a day. And I would take an exam on general terms together with the rest of the students. Those were two interesting weeks. That was then that I was satisfied that psychiatrists had vacation of forty eight days. I took two weeks of vacation, and stayed at a hotel of a district CP committee for all that time. So together with uncle Misha we were driving along Shadrinsk in an old GAZ (a car made at Gorky Automobile Making Factory). It was just terrible, if to count, how much we together with uncle Misha earned by moonlighting for those two weeks. We carried logs, and furniture, and stuff from a container station. Uncle Misha was both an instructor and an entrepreneur for moonlighting. He absolutely did not agree with my suggestion of conducting division of money and insisted on equal shares. The only thing he accepted from me was a bottle of “the der white” (colloquial for vodka) once in two days. However he drilled me in the best way possible.

I can boast that on 5 November, 1975 during sleet, I would like to stress that there was sleet, I passed both theory and driving exams with excellent grades and received a driving license with valid categories of “A”, “B” and “C”. That’s right, I received the driving license of a professional. And somebody told me that eighteen times was a shame. Though, I believe that it was disposition of God, because since then I’ve driven cars without any problems.

21 July, 2013.

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #214040300531

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content