|12:30 am Saturday morning, relaxing with a guilty-pleasure novel on the comfy carpet at MIA International.|
Before I go into the gory details, let me tell you I'm over at Tossing It Out today, care of blogosphere's marvelous Arlee Bird, talking about prisons: of the mind, the soul, and the flesh. It's the latest stop for the MIRACLE tour in blogs, after a celebration of the book's quirkiness over at Corinne Rodrigues's place last week, and then the crazy author vs character
This blog tour has been great, great fun, and a fantastic opportunity to both connect with new bloggers and reconnect with older friends—and even turn acquaintances into friendships. I'm hugely grateful to everyone who's pitched in, not just by hosting me (we had limited spots, and I really appreciated everyone's understanding) but by sharing and commenting and spreading the love. The book and I are uniquely fortunate in having friends like you all.
Back to the Mexico trip. The first thing you need to know is why I had to go to Mexico. It was to renew my driver's license, which was set to expire tomorrow, November 12th. Why am I renewing a Mexican driver's license when I've been living in Curaçao for over a decade? It's a valid question. With a really simple answer.
HOW TO GET A DRIVER'S LICENSE IN CURAÇAO
(When you come from a country that's not Holland or the U.S. or otherwise in Curaçao's list of driver license exchange agreements)
- Take driving lessons. Seriously. I'm required to go to an actual approved driving school and get a certificate from them. Kinda cool, taking into account I've never done that—see below for details.
- Pass a driving test at the DMV. But in order to qualify for taking that test I need to show my driving school certificate. These people aren't kidding about not wasting anyone's time, eh? (Well, anyone's not including mine.) The first test is theory; road signs, rules and regulations, whatnot. If—yes, the guy did say if—I pass that one, then I can go on to the actual driving test. As in drive-a-real-car-in-the-street test.
- Because I can't drive stick-shift (I know, I know, I'm a total loser), I need a special exemption from a completely different dependency to take the said driving test in an automatic car (and thus to receive a license exclusively for automatic cars... not that I would want it any other way). I have to go to the ARBO office (I don't know what ARBO stands for, but I do know where it is—lucky me) and explain to them why I need an exemption (whoa, that's going to take all of—two minutes? Can't drive stick shift, sir. That's right. No, can't. Uh-huh. Okay. Thanks!). Once I get it, I go back to the DMV and I get to take my driving test.
- Assuming I
jump all these hoopspass, then I get my photo taken and walk out with a license. Finally.
Approximate length of time from start to end of process: 4 weeks.
(It took me 2 hours of standing in line to get the above information, by the way. So, no, 4 weeks is actually an optimistic estimate.)
HOW TO GET A DRIVER'S LICENSE IN MEXICO
(Wherever you come from)
- Show up early(ish) at the DMV with your birth certificate and a proof of address (to show you live in the city where you're requesting the license), and two copies of each (if you're Mexican, you do this multiple-copy thing automatically).
- Take a written test. (A five-page document with multiple-choice in the vein of, Identify the stop sign in the pictures below, or When a traffic light is orange, you need to a)... )
- Pay the fee (1 year 100 pesos, 5 years 500, 1.00 USD = 15.00 MXP, current in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as of Nov 2015). Assuming you pass the test, of course. No one knows what happens if you don't pass.
- Go back upstairs to have your photo taken and to pick up your license.
Please note that no one, at any point in these proceedings, checked that you can actually drive a car. No. One.
Approximate length of time from start to end of process: 2 hours.
Mine was only a renewal this time, so I was in and out of the place, new license in the pocket, within 40 minutes. It would've been sooner, but I got on the wrong line for the photos :)
So. This is why I go to Mexico to renew my driver's license. I agree it's impractical, but since it only happens every 5 years, and since my mom lives there, and since we—me and the dushi—consider Mexican food no sacrifice at all... Well, it's a "worth the trip" kind of thing.
Though this time it was a bit of a challenge. Come back on Friday for the fiasco chronicles :) In the meantime, hop on over to Lee's and join the conversation — I dare you to guess his BoTB song pick before it shows up at the end of the post. Seriously. It's that obscure (though not if you're Mexican).
Thanks for visiting, all!