Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's not my fault!

I have been meaning to write this post since Friday, but... Katy was silly enough to get me addicted to a New Zealand comedy/drama series and lend me far too many DVDs and Megan and Nathan were silly enough to give me a puzzle for my birthday yesterday.... a 1,500 very small piece puzzle! On top of that the weather has been beautiful, the garden needed (still needs) a lot of attention and Tom has been away doing his annual "100 km nonstop walk" from Yukuhashi to Beppu. He did it in 4 minutes less than last year (16 hours, 11 minutes) and is still moving so I guess it was a success!
Now onto what I meant to blog about on Friday.... I had to go and renew my driver's licence - something that needs to be done in Japan every 5 years (if you have been a "good" driver) or every 3 years (if you have been a "bad" driver). The length of the lecture you have to attend also increases depending on how "bad" you have been. Of course I am a pretty model driver so only had to attend the 60 minute lecture and still have a 5 year licence. It was my first time to go to the new drivers licence center in Oita and I spent the first 40 minutes in a bit of a haze - and I got to understand what it is like for sheep as they go through the herding process. Although the lecture didn't start till 2:20pm I got there by 1pm so thought I'd just race through the registration process and go and have a coffee before falling asleep in the lecture. No such luck! Registrations started at 1pm and there were at least 50 people already lined up before I walked in the door. Then the herding began! First we got copies of our current licences at one machine, then got a barcode with the pin number for our new licence with the IC chip at another machine, then it was into a line to get it checked and clipped together, next to the payments line, then off to the eyesight check booth, straight to the photo booth and finally up to the lecture room. - too early, but not early enough to go for a coffee! Despite it being a pain to do, it was actually quite an interesting exercise in terms of efficiency. Each person had their specific role and they all did them very well - the result being a continually moving line of about 150 people.... At the end of the lecture (at exactly 3:20) the new licence was taken to the correct lecture room for you to collect and you were ushered out the door. Glad I only have to do it every 5 years, but it could have been worse!
Katy - the movie never eventuated... Tom had to work later than he thought! I knew it had to be too good to be true....


  1. 誕生日おめでとう!!

  2. happy birthday!! and congrats on renewing your license. i hate doing that! thankfully i can do it here in munakata, and there were only about 15 people in the lecture. phew!

  3. HAPPY BIRHTDAY from us too!!! Hope you had a nice day!! (did you already finish the huge puzzle?!)

  4. Happy Birthday-it's great to hear that you are having some 'you' time-DVD's & puzzle(very serine picture) Draw it out and make the most of it.

    I love how the licence centre is so efficient it is amazing. Their idea of watching a video is great I think. After my first 3 years I had to go to a 3 hour lecture and I couldn't even get out of it by explaining that I was still breastfeeding my 4 month old daughter. To my disgust the other 49 people in my room slept-what was the point of them even being there?

  5. God, what a huuha!! My experience at the licence center was a lot less painful. Nice place though yeah? And they even have a kiddy room if you ever feel the need to have more kids just so you can try it out!

    Bugger you didn't get the movie in but I hope you got a coffee somewhere along the way - a real one and not one in the car :)

    Hope also you had a nice birthday evening despite having to share it with some wine and the dvd player?? Not that that's a bad thing mind you. Did you get your cake?