Before I was about to leave for Uruguay, I realized that my Tennessee license was going to expire on my 30th birthday. So my dad and I headed to the Texas DMV to get a new Texas license. Long story short, the process was way more tedious than we thought, AND I would have had to surrender my Tennessee license, which was problematic in that I needed a license to move and my Texas one would not be shipped in time. Que es una problema, or as we like to say in New York “Well isn’t that a bag of dicks!” #copyrightrichzajac
So, I left the US with the understanding that once my notification was sent to my old house in Tennessee, my roommate would mail it to my parents who would then scan it to me. I would renew online, have it shipped to my old home, have Heather ship it to my parents, and have them ship it to me! Problema solved! Another long story short, Tennessee truly is a bag of dicks and thinks that a 30 year old needs to come in for a new picture; therefore, my license needed to be renewed in person. You know, because I have a few extra wrinkles and grey hair that may confuse the police officers and night club bouncers. Que dilema, or as we like to say in New York, “well isn’t that a shit sandwich!” #copyrightrichzajac
So, I was left in a foreign country with an expiring license. First, I desperately wanted to rent cars to see how my manual driving was coming along, second I wanted to rent cars to see the Uruguayan countryside, and third (and most importantly) I DID NOT want to take another damn driving test in the state of Texas when I did resurface back in the United States. To quote Love Actually, “Fuck, bugger, shit, ass head and hole.” It was another road block, albeit minuscule, but annoying nonetheless.
With all things driving, I turned to Brad, who just happened to be in the process of getting his Uruguayan license. It seemed like a fairly straightforward process. All I had to do was get a medical exam, go with Brad to the intendencia (government building) and show my current USA license, Uruguayan cedula, and medical clearance and poof…new driver. Third long story short, Brad needed to complete this ASAP because his own medical clearance was about to hit the 30 day mark and thus expire, so I had to go through the process con rapidez or as we like to say in New York “Move your bloomin ass!” Wait, that may be My Fair Lady. I digress.
So, I took a half day of school and bused myself up to the medical building for my 8:15am appointment. I successfully checked myself in and started filling out the forms. Most of the medical terms were cognitively similar, so I pretty much made educated guesses. I made one teeny tiny error. The word for pregnancies looks an awful lot like periods so I checked that box because hey, I’m a healthy woman with a healthy flow. I also said once a month beside it where it said how many just to clarify. It didn’t take long for the nurse to correct that little faux pas. She checked my vision, my hearing, my dexterity, and my sanity (I did after all say I had a pregnancy a month) and decided I was fit for driving. Stamp. Approval. Back to school.
Brad and I were going to go that same day to the intendencia to just get the process over with. Another long story short, we were stopped by the lovely Valen (guru of all things Uruguayan at our school) who wanted to make sure we actually knew what we were getting ourselves into. She called for us to checked to make sure we didn’t need an appointment, more forms, and could get a license even though we were not permanent residents. We seemed to have all our duckies in a row, but of course the building was closed by this point. Oh, and there was a little mix up about paying at an Abitab, but that was all part of the same adventure.
Brad and I decided that we were going to get up super early on the Thursday we had off of school (Spring Break – more on this in the next blog) and head downtown to go through the process. That was the same day I was going to rent the car to Punta del Este, so I was kind of a little frantic. Long story…wait…actually no. This is the shortest story ever!
We made it to the intendencia, breezed through payment because we were the only one’s there. The lady was super friendly (in perfect Uruguayan fashion) and asked me all about where I was from and how long I was in Uruguay. Did I like it? How long was I staying? The usual questions. She even smiled and wished me a pleasant day. I felt like I was in a DMV Twilight Zone. Then we went downstairs, got a number, had the number called in minutes, gave the correct documents to the lady, she put it in the computer, snapped the picture and Bing Bang Boom…ten minuets later I had a printed and laminated Uruguayan license warm in my hands.
As we say in New York…What the curse just happened?! Never has a license process been so easy and efficient. To quote Brad, “If I ever start to complain about the bureaucracy of this country, I just need to remember getting a license was the easiest process in the world.” But for reals! The USA needs to take note. Can you imagine a world where the DMV is actually a pleasurable place – a place where the people are kind and get you through the process in the most efficient way possible? Oh, and they had a playground right outside the building! I mean, keep adding to the awesome, Uruguay!
And now I don’t have to worry about renting cars! I have five whole years before I have to renew. So look out, world. Kim is hitting the road, manual style.