Friday, 8 April 2011

This morning whilst riding Doris...

This morning whilst riding Doris (yes, I know) I was stopped at the lights by a couple of van-drivng Mexicans who needed directions.  This begs questions on so many levels, mainly:  did I look that bad that they thought I was a Venice resident (God help me if I have lost the essence of Paris already)? Have I become so aggressive at driving a bicycle across two lanes of traffic when making a left turn that I clearly scare the crap out of people enough to warrant road-respect and thus, implied knowledge of where I was going (ha!)?  Or was it that they wanted to get a better look at my cycling-appropraite footwear?

Either way, Patti LaBelle would have approved of my jumpsuit this morning and so, I entered the bowels of the DMV.
For the uninitiated amongst you, this is the California Department of Motor Vehicles and has been championed by those less fresh off the boat and more jaded than I as the worst possible place to spend a day (and it will take that long), worse even, than the US Post Office.  The reason for my jolly into administrative hell?  An administrative clusterfuck courtesy of the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency; this, my friends, is what you get for trying to lead an international life:  a headache in three nations, on two continents.  Gracias.

After handing over the paperwork, I finally got to take the written test which, if passed, permits one to drive whilst waiting for an appointment to take the practical test (is 'valet' an accepted response when asked how to park?  Just a thought).

I passed of course, but not because of anything I know about driving, but because of my knowledge of the American psyche.  Take note.  To each multiple-guess question apply the following criteria:  take three parts common sense; weigh up the option where you are most likely to get sued; add in a little American paranoia about health and safety; cross out the option you would apply if driving in Rome; and sprinkle with a little incredulous 'this coffee is hot' no shit Sherlock Big-Brother-ism.  Et voila, full marks!  Sometimes it pays to have been a lawyer...

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