Far Side of the World

Here is why I am back in California.

You guessed it – the DMV

Keeping legal and up to date in two countries is a challenge. This time the validity of my California driving license is about to run out. Because I am over 70, I have to take a written test before they will renew the license. This means I must be physically present at the DMV. So I fly to the far side of the world.

Visiting the DMV is usually grim, so many people and usually some poor folks who panic at the formality and the dread of getting something wrong. The atmospheres is tense. I am terrified. First log in on computer, go to next window to queue for vision test. I have not brought my specs. I start to weep but a nice lady encourages me to take the test anyway and with the help of St Christopher, I pass! I queue to have my photo taken. I queue to take the test. This is multiple choice on a computer. ” How far must you park from an entrance? 8ft, 5ft, 7ft?” I fail. A nice lady comforts me and encourages me to take the test again – you can have three attempts. I pass!

I queue to get my final papers, “Sir, you didn’t take the motorcycle test. Don’t you wanna drive a hog?”

I go to the back of the queue. I take the test but fail. I take it again and pass! Yay, I have succeeded, five more years of US mobility.

Next is to get a US phone.

ATT phone shop.

Very easy; take out Japanese SIM card, insert US SIM card and Bob’s your uncle.

New tires for James’ bike.

Fish and chips, please.
James’ bike without wheels.
James is very good at this sort of thing.

So good to be back in San Francisco, there is so much street life going on.

Shopping trip on Haight.

A gang of Mexican guys are working to restore the other three apartments in our building. At lunch time, a supercharged lady turns up with a vanful of home cooked food. She drives around construction sites selling wonderful Mexican meals.

So funny!
Homemade birria, beans, rice, tortillas and a pint of Horchata. Straight outside the front door!
Just outside my front window, I set up the birdie soup kitchen.
Pygmy Nuthatch
Oregon Junco

Sunny, cool, joyful.

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3 Responses to Far Side of the World

  1. Anne Mieke van den Bergen says:

    I love love love your stories Neil!
    This combination of adventure, suspence, technical stuff and birds makes me happy.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Love, Mieke (Fermilab/Amsterdam :))

    • Yay Mieke! So pleased you like the blog. I do it as a diary so in 10 years time I can remember what I was doing in 2023. I have forgotten everything before I started the blog! No need to put Fermilab/Amsterdam, I will remember you and love you forever! Congratulations on your beautiful daughters

      • Anne Mieke van den Bergen says:

        I love you too Neil 🙂
        Thanks for the compliment on the daughters. They are big fun.

        I have so many questions for you and good times I want to bring up. May have to catch you in San Francisco or Okinawa one time.

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