Written by: Sarah Showell
Vladimir was thrilled to learn that he was simply a bad driver.
Growing up in the Ukraine, he was accustomed to corrupt officials demanding bribes for just about everything. If you wanted to get something done, you needed to slip in some extra cash, and even then—there were no guarantees.
How different it was in America! After moving to Seattle, Vladimir applied for his driver’s license and failed his driving test. A few weeks later he tried again and failed. On his third try his heart sank as the driving instructor told him, “Sorry. You will have to come again.”
Vladimir suspected that he’d never pass unless he gave money to the instructor. Vladimir sighed and asked, “How much you take? I can pay you any money. Just please give me a license.”
The instructor’s eyes widened and he asked, “What did you say…?”
Vladimir suddenly realized that the rules were different in the United States. “Oh, nothing,” he quickly responded.
This very awkward moment also brought him tremendous joy. It was so good to learn that all he needed to do was try a little bit harder, and not pay a bit more.