Nothing like a little suspense to make things interesting....
The crank turns (two consecutive 90-degree turns) on the narrow roads looked really difficult from the observation room, where I took the photo yesterday, and from the back seat of the car, where I sat while the woman before me drove her test. But when I was actually driving, they weren't so daunting.
When we got back inside, we (five of us, all female foreigners) waited in chairs while the examiner called us one by one to tell us whether we'd passed or failed. The first one left after talking to the examiner: she didn't pass. Likewise, the second one left immediately. The third woman came back to the seats: she'd passed; words of congratulation were given. The fourth woman also came back, but she was just collecting her things.
He called my name, and I walked up, trying to convince myself that I'd failed, even though I felt pretty good about how it'd gone. Sure enough, he showed me on the little course map that I'd made a right-hand turn from the left-most of two lanes. Crap. I would've had points deducted for something like that in New York, and in Japan they give you no room for mistakes: it's all or nothing. He also made a point of telling me that my crank turns could have been better, that I should have turned closer to the insides of each turn. I didn't know why he was wasting his breath on style points.
Then, "Ii desu," he said.
"Ii desu ii desu?"
"Hai, ii desu."
"OK desu ka," I said, pointing to the seats.
"Hai," he said, and motioned for me to sit down.*
I couldn't tell what miniscule mistakes the other women had made that caused them to fail, so I thought that I was a sure goner, which made the news of my passing mark difficult to accept. So I went back to my seat and told the other woman, "I passed... I think." But this was confirmed a few minutes later when I was called up to have my eyesight/color vision checked.
I am now a fully licensed driver in two countries.
"It's good it's good?"
"Yes, it's good."
"Is it okay?"