Monday, March 03, 2003

Aww yeeah! Today, I went back to the far distant land of Teine where the DMV is... see my February 17th entry. So, I finally went in to take the actual driving test... and I passed! Can you believe it?! I passed! I PASSED! To fully understand the weight of these words you have to understand how I went into the test today. This test is notorious among foreigners in Japan. I heard all these stories about how lotsa people fail the first time. So, basically, I went into the test today thinking, "Ehh, I'll probably fail so might as well treat this time around as a practice run for the second time." My test proctor speaking "Disgruntled Old Japanese Man-ese" throughout the entire test pretty much enforced what I had heard.
Unlike the driving test in California, there's a special course used for testing behind the DMV. The thing is that the foreigners take a different test from Japanese driving candidates. I have no idea what the Japanese people do on the testing course but the foreigners get to go through a maze of narrow, 90 degree turn roads, S-curves, and a bunch of roadblocks. I was waiting for a John Woo-esque slo-mo car jump.
It felt like one of those driving tests in Gran Turismo (a driving game for the Playstation). Except, if you fail you can't just push the START button and try again. In my case, I'd have to pay another $70 in public transportation costs just to get to the DMV a few days later. Yeah, video games are definitely better than reality in some ways (like the 900+ HP Skyline in Gran Turismo... that thing beats out anything on straight-aways).
So here's my real lineup of driving licenses. The California... the International Driving Permit... and the storied Japanese license. Aww yeah... now it's time to learn how to drift on hard turns... turn, e-brake, down shift... or right on the direction-pad, square and L2... depending on what side of reality you're on.

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