..........Grimacing through a long and winding queue of people, air full of sweat and the scorching heat making your face look like tar!! pay a 100 here another 500 there.. fail in the so called written test.. and still making it to the final desk to shell out yet another 300 or more .. and then finally making it to the podium ( hehe where your pic is taken). Despite looking like a mess, I give my best smile out and click!! my license for a four wheeler in India is done.. Yep I remember every detail of that, when I had to go there without an appoitment at 10:00 am. Thanks to my dad's contacts there, I was able to skip a desk or two ( no no, I still had to shell out the cash, but all collectively to one single desk)..got roasted in the sun's heat, failed in the written ( there isnt any guide from where you can read or anything, you just have to know the rules.. but if you are able to cough up the money or better still, pull strings, then yeah, you will make it my friend to the podium!!) drove wonderfully and got my license. I was about 22 then and damn excited.. This truly was an achievement for me to get a car license at that age and being able to drive my mom's car around the city and sometimes sneakily to work too!! Ah STATUS!!
That was a good experience.
Fast Forward...5 years... Me in Uncle Sam's land..California..:) all excited and thrilled. One look at the road, you will see cars and cars and more cars.. no bikes, no bi cyles, no auto( huh??!! whats that>??) or richskaws...
So commuting to a place or between places is sub zero if you dont have transport. Public transport does exist, but you will have to do your bit of walking and a lotta research to know what bus takes you where or which train goes where...
So obviously and evidently shocked, my first "GOAL" was to get my license. ( Sigh.. my India license was valid, but only for a year .. and I needed the license here for identity more than anything else).
So there I was all prepped and motivated to achieve my goal.
(Yes folks.. its a goal, an achievement here...the feeling you get when you pass the test and go through the entire rigmarole procedure....OMG! niceness!!!)
I go to the DMV, get the hand book to study. I freak out.. its like an exam. Trust me , I really did study for it like an exam...making notes, underlining and what not!! I book my date for the written test, go to the centre again to give it. Pass with just one mistake and get a compliment from the desi at the window " nice work!! just one mistake!!AS IF!! I am all elated and start my actual behind the wheel driving lessons with hubby dear. A darling that he is, absolutely patient and giving me the best tips to drive.
I have to admit, that in India, if not for my dad, I wouldn've got my license. I remember those days, when we used to go to the beach and I use to drive around and my dad patiently guiding me and giving me tips.
And now my hubby, sweetheart that he is, gave me the best tips to drive smoothly....and they all work.
..Clock ticking and time is flying.. so I get all nervous and book an appoitment for the actual death scene.. yes people.. the actual driving test. So it works like this.. i have to take the car with all the papers intact.( registration, insurance etc) and go to DMV. Wait in line for my instructor to hop into the car. ( ps... she doesnt wear her seat belt through out the test... and neither do i insist that she does.. and SHE works in DMV as an instructor!!!)
So I start driving.. and driving and driving... by that I mean at 25mph and a few stupid mistakes..over all feeling.. I cleared the test...
So after the "romantic rendezvous", we are back to DMV and she starts her sermon .. blah blah blah.. 9 out of a 15 possible errors and nil critical errors... YEP I pass..... KUDOS!! Achievement!! nobel prize..?? Atleast a standing ovation...???!!! someone?? somebody??? no one??
**Snap** back to reality.. just another day , another person authorised to drive in the US... an addition to the DMV database for records.. A sign of relief, excitement, achievement in my mind...:)