... you know the one. No, not Lost Boys.
So, as I was saying, last week I dared to dream, aimed for a driving licence and was turned away for not being able to prove that I lived in the UK for long enough. Oh wells, we live and learn, well I don't know about you, but I certainly did - picking myself up and dragging myself across town in the rain to give it another shot at this place:
The Unten Menkyo Shiken Jo - The Driving License Issuing Centre. The weather was the diametric opposite of my last visit, switching from dry, blazing heat to constant rain that stuck around all day. Last week I was left with the impression of the last sorting office before you hit death valley; this time I could take in the verdant jungle peak of Mount Teine and the delights of a very simple cafeteria that served quite simply the worst coffee I've had in a long time. Oh my word. Ouch.
It was a pretty long process, but thanks to the deal that the UK and Japan share regarding driving licenses, a pretty easy one. No practical test thank God, and no written one either. I shuffled between desks and eye-tests and photo machines, confirming details, buying payment stamps and signing forms between nine and twelve, then waited two hours while they made my license and I was on my way. I finished two books, chatted with a pleasant American, ate lousy onigiri and poked around the place a little.
That's the test course, and one of the test cars waiting for it's next meal.
I mean victim.
I mean applicant.
Whatever, as I was finishing the first part of the procedure lots and lots of people started gathering in the main area of the building. I had no idea what was going on, at first I thought people were queueing for something, I was like - should I be queueing? If they start giving out ice cream I'm gonna be pissed that I didn't queue. Luckily it was only the results being given on the big electronic board:
That seems kind of dramatic, especially for Japan. They don't just say "pass" or "fail", you have to wait with all these other people for this dramatic unveiling, and while some people spin away flinging their fists in the air, if you didn't cut it you have to bite your lip and try not to cry. Sucks!
Anyway, turns out the new Scott Pilgrim's really awesome. Who'dve thunk? And then I got my Japanese Driving License:
Man, I'm getting just too legit to quit here. Where am I gonna drive to?