Having an interesting job sometimes makes us the subject of school reports (or, more likely, AWANA questionnaires). My favorite question to answer is “What does a typical day look like for you and Joel?” While it’s a legitimate question and occasionally has a fairly straightforward answer, there are days when it’s not at all typical. And then you get several “not at all typical” days strung together for a season and it suddenly seems like a hilariously funny question.
Last week, we celebrated the culmination of a one year process to renew Joel’s driver’s license.
During the year+ that the immigration office took to renew Joel’s residency card, his driver’s license expired and though he tried to renew it with the stack of documents that proved he was most definitely “in process” for a residency renewal, his efforts were fruitless and he was not legal to drive off and on throughout the year. We bought a little time once by sending him on a 72 hour trip across the border to Nicaragua with a friend in the same predicament (to their dismay, they were averted from a potentially epic surf spot because the crew of Survivor didn’t want them bobbing around in the waves in the background and ruin the idea that they were truly on a “deserted” location).
But, finally, after its own long story of lines, receipts, documents and paper trails, Joel received his permanent (permanent, as in, it needs to be renewed in two years) residency card.
So, that gave him the green light to try to get back behind the wheel!
(Asking for directions)
That is, if only we could find the place! (We don’t use street signs here, remember?)
After our 5th stop to ask for directions, I realized this might be one of those days we would want to document! Sorry I don’t have the colorful assortment of direction-givers or commentary that followed, but it was also epic.
After I parked the car with the trusty street guard who promised to (well, I’m not sure, actually, but either way, it would cost us)….
We arrived to …. no line!!!! This in itself is the story. Amazing. Fantastic. End of story.
But, they made Joel wait at the wall anyway, until the break was over. Because that’s what the sign says.
I, on the other hand, sat under the TV listening to the screams and horror of traffic accidents, recorded for some type of public service announcement for the department of transportation. It was R-rated for graphic violence and totally and completely unpleasant, but I will say, memorable, and those images have come up in my mind more than a few times when I’ve been driving since then. Mission accomplished, DOT.
Because he’d been through this process several times in the last year and a half (trying to find a loophole that would let him get his driver’s license while his residency was in process), Joel wisely brought every possible form of identification and document that might possibly be relevant.
Finally, it was his turn.
However, the one document they needed was a medical evaluation.
Thankfully, our trusty parking guard knew a woman who did medical evaluations out of her house next door! Convenient.
But actually kind of expensive.
So, we walked away.
And then the price suddenly got reasonable! Well, whaddya know!
So he got his blood pressure taken. (Um, totally different numbers sitting talking about driving than when actually driving, BTW. Just sayin.)
Measured his eyesight.
And his height.
And interestingly, asked whether he was left- or right-handed (“in the case of amputation”)
…..um, that still doesn’t clear things up for me, which made the donor question seem a little sketchy.
Anyway, then with all those documents, plus the medical evaluation, we got back in the car (now guarded by the trusty parking guy and three cousins) and navigated our way across town to the other license place.
Where we snagged the very last parking space in the lot (they radioed ahead and saved it for us — whaaaat???).
And, having done this a few times, I rushed off to wait in the bank line while Joel waited in the license line so I could spare him some time and arrive with the receipt he needed while he inched his way forward in the dreaded line.
But again, (practically) NO LINE!!! (And we’ve been here standing in lines of a couple hundred people, waiting all day!!)
So the guard wouldn’t even let him come in without the receipt since there was no wait!
Clickety, click at the bank…..
back to the (no) line…..
Krista has to wait outside….
And just about the time I get into the middle of the first chapter of my riveting counseling book on self-image….
A win for the home team.
Really! It was so easy that we almost thought about checking on my residency (now a year and half in the making) or getting a head start on renewing my driver’s license (due in 2017), but then again, why ruin a perfectly good day?