Friday, June 15, 2007

license to...

I am now the owner of a brand spanking new Bermuda drivers' license. First try, thank you very much. But surprise surprise, they misspelled my name & I hadn't noticed until Hubby pointed it out. I thought he was joking because I have a normal run of the mill western name. How could they get it wrong? Not like it's an ethnic name. And how could I not notice? Sigh! Although my picture came out quite nice...for once!

For one thing, I never thought I'd have to go through the entire driving test process again. Been there done that in Canada & was none too pleased when I learned that Bermuda does not participate in the license exchange. I've driven faster & for longer periods in Canada & trust me Bermuda is a step down. I don't mean that in a negative way but the roads here are narrower & only run so far. And sure the left hand side driving initially throws you off your bearings, but you eventually get used to it. It's not rocket science!

However, there are a couple of things that Canada or more specifically Ontario can learn from Bermuda when it comes to the licensing game. Ontario has a three step graduated licensing program (a written test & two driving tests, also known as G1, G2 & G - don't get me started on the sequence problem here). But the inside scoop is that for the third driving test (which includes highway driving), examiners are given a quota of people that they can pass for the day. So, if they've met that quota by late morning & you've scheduled your exam for the afternoon, you're more than likely to receive a fail on your test, even if you've performed perfectly. It's true! It's been confirmed by someone on the inside. Welcome to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation!
If you've got a case of bad luck, the series of failed tests can get quite pricey (at about $80.00 a pop). I think the least they can do is give you a discount for repeat tests! A message to Ontario - enough of this money making business because in Bermuda, you only pay TCD, once you've passed (a cost of $133.00 USD) & Bermuda also lets you schedule your test online. Oh, by they way, TCD stands for Transport Control Department. Can it sound any more British?

Anyway, now a brief synopsis of what the driving test in Bermuda is like. Parallel parking (the spot is marked by pylons & white lines) &
drive & reverse a zig zag path (also marked by pylons) are both done at the TCD's site. You get five minutes to perform your parallel perfection & are even allowed to get out of the car to check to see if you've made it within the lines. Touch a pylon & you fail & if you fail you can kiss the road test that follows goodbye, for another month. If you pass the on site test & fail the road test then the second time around will only have you doing the road test. I'm not the best at parallel parking but with a five minute time limit & umpteen number of out of car checks, I had to pass. I will say one thing about the road test - it's not complicated. But there's one rule to follow that one may not be used to - when at a red light or at a stop sign, your parking brake must be up before you check both directions, inch up & proceed to make your may through. Yes I know, so confusing & totally pointless in my opinion. However, rules are rules no matter how asinine.

For the most part, I am relieved. It's over & done with. I had the nicest examiner who made a lot of significant get to know each other small talk throughout the length of my test. I now know all about him, his family & his DOB. Getting back to my license, it's up for renewal in 10 years. Now all I have to do is get it corrected on Monday, although my brother, Newt upon viewing a picture of my license, had this to say about it:
"I can't really tell what's wrong with it. I think we have been misspelling your name our whole lives, and the Bermudian Transportation Ministry (or whatever the hell it's called) finally gets it right. You owe them a large debt of gratitude."
Seriously, how does he come up with this stuff ? He seems to have forgotten that everyone over the years has misspelled HIS name at one time or another....


Ian said...

Greetings from Canada. I have been following your blog for some time now and have never commented. I have been meaning to however...better late than never!

I have also added you to my list of favorite blogs on my blog. Pop by for a visit sometime. Take care and keep blogging!


Uncle Afro said...

Nice writing. Bermuda driving tests seem so much like UAE ones. British connections I guess. Here are a few funny experiences with UAE tests:

UAE honors driving license from neighboring Oman. A colleague got internal transfer from Oman to UAE and had to get UAE license before the Oman one expires (because he no longer held Oman Visa to renew the license there). So on the basis of his Omani license he drives to his driving test in Dubai, unfortunately fails the test, gets on to his car and drives back home.

People often argue/bargain with the test inspectors. To avoid this they would write something on your test paper in Arabic and ask you to "Panch Number Jao". So you join the line at counter 5 and he tells you the good or bad news. By the time the inspector has taken the next batch of guys and gone-a-testing.

This one is a bit difficult to explain. Wonder if you know about the eye test for drivers in Dubai. To cater to the multi-national/multi-cultural and multi-education levelled population, it only consisted of 4 alphanumerics. Does it ring a bell ? If not remind when we meet and I will show you. As I said it's tough to explain in an e-mail. But it is very clever and funny at the same time.

Before I end, I have one serious advice for you. I have been wanting to tell you for a long time. Stop all this blog business and start penning a book. You have great writing skills and patience. Just think of a theme, prepare an outline of a story on it, may be from real life experience and start writing. Once you complete, start contacting publishers. There are so many out there and one or the other is bound to accept. Who knows your next book after that might turn out to be a best seller.

educatedunemployed said...

Hey congratulations on your licence.

And brothers.What can I say, that you already don't know. :))

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Thank you for the blogroll, for the compliments & for the congratulatory wishes. Keep coming back. I love hearing from you....