drivin’ international…

Glared at my phone this morning, but rolled out of bed… well, technically, rolled off my air mattress, because my bed and real mattress are in a storage unit in PA. Anyway, I had a few things to take care, today. Mainly, going to AAA in Greenville to get my international driver’s license.

Before I could even consider heading out on the this exciting expedition, I had to get my two passport-sized photos taken somewhere. So, I put my makeup on, made sure I was wearing a nice colored shirt, left my hair down, and headed out into the cool morning. It was supposed to get up to 70 degrees out, but the wind was messing with that.

Ok, so my dad informed me later that we probably could’ve taken a picture at home and printed it, but I’m betting that would’ve taken forever, trying to find the proper size and explain to my dad how to use my camera. The first convenience store I came to happened to be CVS, so I walked in and asked if they did passport pics. 

Fortunately, their machine wasn’t down, and unfortunately (to my way of thinking), it would cost $10 for them to print me six photos of myself. Now, why can’t I think of any other item that needs a passport photo? I have four more pictures, and nothing to do with them, because I got my passport renewed last year.

So, the nice elderly lady behind the register had me follow her until we stopped in front of the coolers. She pulled down the screen, nicely blocking out the refrigerated milk. I’m thankful, because I don’t think a driver’s license would look very official with dairy products behind me.

Pictures taken and printed (and they weren’t too horrid), I headed home to pick up my dad (a AAA member), to take him with me to Greenville. We’re still uncertain whether his card was any use (money saved?), but he enjoyed coming along for the ride. When we finally found the place, the customer service was very helpful, even pointing the desk out to me, and patted the counter, just in case I hadn’t noticed it’s location. With his help, I managed to get to the correct counter in record time.

I now have a sort-of official looking gray booklet that proclaims itself as an international driver’s license, which includes mostly directions in every language under the sun. My picture is glued in and officially stamped from AAA, which still manages to make me feel that I’ve been approved by the new and improved Alcoholics Anonymous.

We stopped at a Zaxby’s for lunch, where I made some fabulous maneuvers in my car, trying to get into a parking space without hitting either an ambulance or anyone in the drive-thru line. A very inconvenient setup, the Easley location. Oh, the ambulance drivers were there on lunch break, no emergency to be seen.

I enjoyed my meal, as it may be one of the last times I eat there, before going overseas. And yes, it’s one of my favorite fast-food restaurants, and yes, when I was living up north, I would get cravings for their chicken. Unfortunately, there’s no Zaxby’s in Australia. I know, sad but true.

Looking at my new license, I wonder what adventures are in store for me. My new family will let me get adjusted to driving on the wrong side of the road, before they let me drive anywhere with the kids. Driving by yourself and driving with children in the car are two different things. 

I am actually aware of what it’s like to be driven on the wrong side of the road, as I spent a month in Indonesia, several years ago. I still remember how it scrambled my brain, just watching our driver manage it. Of course, in Indonesia, they don’t have lanes marked, and they drive fast and crazy. But after a month there without ever driving myself, I came home and, at least once, almost turned the wrong way, because I had gotten so used to it.

I pray I’ll pick it up quickly, and not embarrass myself too greatly, or cause anyone (or anything) damage. And I am so thankful that the car I’ll be driving is automatic. I love driving stick-shift, but trying to shift gears with the wrong hand would finish scrambling my brain… completely.

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