My driving license validity runs out at the beginning of June. Since I am now over 70, I have to go through geriatric driving training, vision testing and a supervised drive before they will re-issue my license. I am fairly intimidated as if I blow this, they will take my license away and it is impossible to live in Okinawa without a car. My future on this magic island depends on my performance.
Everything is in Japanese and I enlist the help of the wonderful Nicole san.
Nicole is a freelance interpretor/translator. Hire her!
We go through a very strict eyesight test. I worry as I don’t, despite Nicole’s best efforts, know really what I am supposed to do on some of the exercises. We troop out to pay for the training.
We are shown movies that are admirable. They underline the dangers of driving a car but in particular the dangers of old people driving a car. Much statistical evidence of the sharp drop off after 70 of vision, reaction speed and decision making. Help!
It is pouring with rain as we drive around the special test course. Fairly anxious as there are many Japanese driving protocols that are new to me. Many thanks to Danielle Ellerby from OIST who coached me beforehand. Anyway congratulations Okinawan Police on the training – thought provoking.
Now to get my new license, more vision tests, a photo, my name is called and I am presented with a new license! Hooray! I am good until 2027 and God knows where I will be then.