I hit a new low the other day. It had been quite a few days of me being completely fed up with everything, morning to night. Tuesday morning, I woke up early, went downstairs and got grumped at for no reason. Walking back upstairs, I walked right into the edge of the fish tank lid, which was rotated off the top to let more air in the tank. The reason I woke up early was to do something--anything. So I chose to finally take my Taiwan driver's license test. Expectedly, most of the people at the DMV were quite rude. I passed the written test with no major problems, but failed the "road" test in less than ten minutes.
The road test is conducted on a course at the DMV, and in the DMV's Toyota Tercel. The test consists of first backing into a parking spot without your tires touching any of the lines on the ground, including the white lines in the middle and on the side of the road in the course and the lines that mark the parking space. The second task was to parallel park, without touching any lines. The third task was to drive into an S-shaped alley and backing out of the S-shaped alley without touching any lines. I don't remember what else goes after that because I didn't even make it past parallel parking. I don't think I have been in a tighter situation than that presented on the course. If you can pass the test there, you can park anywhere. But in my own defense, I've never had problems parking or driving in Taipei, in Tokyo, in LA or in SF, in a car, that is. Nevermind in a motorcycle. (Here comes the big godmother lecture again...)
I wasn't too disappointed about failing the test, since I wasn't expecting anything good to happen to anything anymore. I didn't want to go home to continue being grumped at, and I didn't want to go to work because things there haven't been great for me either. I didn't want to go anywhere. But I ended up going to work. I just may be a true workaholic.
On the way to work, I decided that I've had enough of the DMV and I was willing to risk my license being lost in the mail, so I paid TWD760 and FedEx-ed it off to Michael in California to have it authenticated at the Taiwan trade and culture office in San Francisco. I went to the American Institute in Taipei (AIT) to have it done, but they said I need to that in the US, and in the state where the license was issued.
Later at work, one of my coworkers told me he just had his California DL authenticated at the AIT the day before yesterday. Great.
We were talking about how you can get away with driving around permanently with just an international license, but quickly shelved the ideas when we realize that we appear on TV. The I-don't-speak-Chinese, I-just-got-here and I'm-not-a-resident excuses don't work anymore. So much for that.
But the goddess of mercy was watching, and later that evening, my editor-in-chief, whom CNN notifies just before our submissions are broadcasted said that my "Marketing Culture" story had been aired. And three times at that!
So all that is well, I suppose, ends well. But in recent times, it feels like each step forward takes the effort of ten. It's better than no progress, though. What an agonizing and lonely time.