Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Driving Miss Crazy

I have been offered a job - a nice job ... with a company car. Only one problem .... I have never driven here. And the bloodcurdling stories you hear about AD traffic hardly inspires you to get wheels and drive.
Well, I really had no choice. First step was to convert my SAfrican drivers licence to an AD licence. Easier said than done. We thought we knew where to go - but it turns out the licence department has moved to another building. After driving around for 1/2 hour in the boiling sun looking for parking, then walking for 1/2 hour from the parking lot to the wrong building, and up the wrong stairs, and around the wrong floor, then back down the wrong stairs and out of the wrong building, we were drenched and bedraggled.
Found the "right" building - a steaming, stinking, pre-fab - stood in a "queue" to get a number (which was #482) and then stood around waiting for our number to come up. An hour later, having not moved one inch and having watched numberless newcomers stride up to the counter and be served, patience broke down and we pushed #480 and #481 out of the way and stalked to the front.
"We want to transfer a SA licence to a UAE licence"
"We want change licence to Abu Dhabi licence"
"Eh? Next"
"No, bliksem, OUR turn ... new licence NOW"
"Eh? Eye test in other building"
.... "Patience!!!"
Walked for 15 minutes to another steaming, stinking, pre-fab : not labelled, but subsequently found to be the "eye-test station", which consisted of two sonambulating men, one of whom had a pointer and an empty chair.
"Sit on chair, which way is E pointing?" x 2
"Eyes fine, give photo I stamp"
"I have no photo, they said you will take photo"
"No, photo other building"
........%$#@ "Patience!!!"
Walked for 1/2 hour to steaming, stinking, non pre-fab building - paid big bucks, got 4 photos
Walked for 1/2 hour back to steaming, stinking eye test station. They stamped photos.
Walked for 15 minutes to steaming, stinking, original pre-fab. Queued to get another number (this time it is #520). Man at queue counter asked : "It hot outside?"
(Could he have got a clue from the sweat plastered hairstyle and the drop of perspiration dripping off the end of my nose?)
DH had to sign "No Problem" Form (to show he had no objection to me getting my licence - well, he knew better than to have any objections!!)
Told to go into Ladies Section - DH banned
Waited and waited and waited and waited and then could not wait any more.
Swore at #585, who had tried to push her way to the front and who got such a fright that tears welled up in her eyes. Too bad ... had enough. IT WAS #520's TURN!!!)
Waited and waited and waited and waited while the counter lady punched and punched and punched into her computer - wondered : was she writing her autobiography, or playing minesweeper?
"Need 6 photos!"
"No, I was told 4 photos ..."
"Need 6 photos!"
"F-this, I don't need this licence THAT much!"
"I take photos here ..."
"You do? I love you ..."
More photos taken, Dh200 (R400) paid.
Waited and waited and waited and waited, name called : You Ass (close enough - those who know my surname - smile!)
I'm legal and licenced to thrill .... well, at least to drive, which in AD is definitely a THRILL!!
Tune in tomorrow for the next thrilling episode of "Lulu learns to drive ...."

1 comment:

California Anonymous said...

I am at work reading your blog and laughing so hard, coworkers are convinced that I have finally fallen of the deep end. Very funny stuff