Monday, March 10, 2008

Renewing My Driver’s License

I spent this morning in Marka at the Driver and Car Licensing Department. The narrow streets surrounding the entire area were so congested that it took us about 15 minutes – moving only a meter at a time - to get to the department entrance. Regardless, once there I finished in just over an hour and left with my new license.

The last time I was there was at least 10 years ago. I don’t remember many details of that visit because my husband was with me, and as usual, we sat in someone’s office and had coffee which made the entire process seem effortless. This time I went with Riad, a man from my husband’s office. Somehow I thought that with computerization everything would be simpler and more automated. I’m sure it was, but it was a process nonetheless. We had to go to at least three different buildings and wait in line to finish everything. First we needed to fill out the application form, in Arabic (done by Riad), and submit it with my photo. Then there was a routine check for outstanding violations not paid. Next I had to take an unusual eye exam. The examiner projected several letters on a wall about three to four meters away. Each letter was the size of a small watch battery and impossible to make out. I couldn’t identify any with confidence. Maybe that was the test because anyone able to see them clearly would surely need corrective lenses! Lastly we waited about a half hour to have my new license finalized and printed.

I would guess that hundreds of people go through this process daily. Considering that no one likes to wait in line, people were orderly, and the staff was courteous and efficient. I saw one or two people smoking furtively otherwise everyone respected the ‘no smoking’ signs. I wasn’t looking forward to renewing my license this morning, but it wasn’t as time consuming or tedious as I imagined it would be. Of course, I doubt that I would have managed without Riad there to help me. But then who knows –



Blogger joladies said...

Glad it was not too painful an experience. Have copied your blog on to the police officer in charge! T

Monday, March 10, 2008  
Anonymous kinzi said...

ASH, good work! I had a similar pleasant experience when I renewed mine a couple months ago, and I only brought my son (I think I blogged about it, T, but can't remember)

T, btw, I didn't comment on the particular post, but I loved the new wasta/connection we have through you in Marka! Even if it is just to have a voice with someone who will hear, or lend a hand when needed. It seems he is a person of integrity, a a rare quality in any land.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008  

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