today was tragic. truly.
in two months' time, in another two years' time.. i'll be laughing about this. hell, this might even make it as a wedding story as an example of the story of my life, but at the present moment, i'm only laughing because it's so tragic i don't know whether i should laugh or cry.
so here goes the saga of amy trying to get her aussie driver's license. i have to convert from my international one i've been driving on for the past eight years ever since i got permanent residency this year.
part one: the knowledge test
strike one - i book one friday, take time off work and miss my appointment because i took a ticket instead of just approaching the counter. by the time i got there, i was half an hour past my appointed time and they told me they turned off all computers by 4pm. i'm thinking in my head - can't you just boot it up? it's just an imac after all. but... i don't contest it and rebook for the next week.
strike two - managed to get another block of time off and then comes the debacle regarding my name. it turned the flavor of "your name on your taiwanese driver's licence despite the sanctioned translation doesn't match your name on your photo ID we issued even though both names are in our system.. but how can we prove that you are the same person if you have different names?" it took another half hour and the involvement of the branch manager to explain that the taiwanese license has no english characters to input my english name and therefore, the translation service cannot add my english name to their translation. i showed them my healthcare card, my credit card, atm card and my international driver's licence all showing both chinese and english names and they still were asking how they could prove i was me. "look at the frickin' photo, does that not help?" no.. they wanted my passport. i asked them how (the f@#$) that would help, given that it shows the same name as my credit card and has a picture of me, just like my license has!
no strike three - i pass my test, third appointment lucky and book in for an on-road driving test. they were surprised and looked at me like an idiot when i refused my learner's license after they tell me i wouldn't be able to drive without a fully-licensed passenger with me. i asked them how i would get home from the test then - they repeated the above. i thought it was kind of warped and asked if there was an alternative. so they issued me a new photo id with a crazy bad photo instead of returning the one i just handed in half an hour ago because that one was "void" ... wtf. can't you just give me the card sitting there on your desk!? so i drove home on my international licence.
part two: the driving test
so i arrive after leaving my team on a busy afternoon with two concurrent theaters running. i get everyone's blessings, including my head of department's even though i had just bailed on his elective surgery list this afternoon. i turn up to the driving test center and realize i forgot my wallet at the hospital. there goes my photo id, my credit cards... so i have other documents plus passport to lodge my application. i approach the window instead of taking a number (i'm learning!!) and get greeted by a surly asian dude with a true blue aussie accent. his name was phil. i'll remember that for a while, after what happened today. i have half a mind to lodge a complaint about phil. phil who was rude - when i asked if i could just explain to my friend that we just started the test and could he please wait for us, phil deadpanned "there is no need, proceed ahead" while completely ignoring my friend who was by the passenger's window next to phil's head by this time. i drove off leaving my friend a tad bewildered but he was a smartie and figured it out eventually. phil, the phil whom i resent for marking me wrongly. do you not think i would know if i had been driving in the middle of the road? do you not think other cars would have honked at me then? do you not think that my stopping the car with a soft jerk at the stop signs would erase all doubt of a rolling stop but i ended up getting marked down for a rolling stop? phil who was unprofessional - tapping impatiently while i was crawling through the 40k/h school zones as required. oh, this phil picked on other things during my test but what really gets my blood boiling is that i see him as a hypocrite. if you dare to fail me by nitpicking and not being able to back up your marks with the evidence, like tell me which stop sign i failed to stop completely at.. then i dare you to drive up to your own "exacting standards" and i'd like to see you pass your driving test. asshole.
so now, i have to resit my driving test next week.
in the meantime, they stuck me with a learner's license meaning i can't really drive to work alone anymore and will need to carpool. sux0rs. =(