Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Driving Test Mystery

Everybody knows, no matter where you come from, that driving is not an issue here in the States. All it takes is a driver's license :)  
   Getting a driver's license is relatively easy (with minor exceptions, as you are about to learn).
   So, to start things off, you download the Driver's Manual from the web-site of your local DMV (that's Department of Motor Vehicles). It's free, explicitly detailed and comprehensible. To learn or not to learn is totally up to you. The bottom line is that you have to pass a written test on driving rules and regulations. In Nevada the test consists of 50 multiple choice questions. There is no time limit for the test. A waiting line to pass the written test was a surprise, though :) 
   If you are lucky (or smart ;) ) to pass the writing test, you will be issued an Instruction's Permit, which allows you to drive a car in the presence of an experienced driver with a valid license. The Permit is valid for 1 year during which you better pass your driving test and get the real driving license. 
   Oh, you'll love scheduling your driving! The DMV is open 8am to 5pm, which makes it fairly difficult to avoid being late for work on the day of the test. "Why not taking the test on Saturday?" - might occur to a logically-minded person. Unfortunately, you are not the only smart one around and Saturdays are all booked a month or more ahead... 
   Anyway, here is where the Bermuda Triangle mystery steps up. 
You have your driving test scheduled. But you have to show up with your car. It does not matter if the car belongs to you, your friend or your boss - you have to have a car for the test. 
   Now, look carefully: 
   1) I am a newcomer; I do not have close friends who would agree to give me their car.
   2) I am a newcomer, I do not have a valid driver's license yet and even if I buy a car - how in the world am I supposed to drive it to the DMV for the test without the license??? 
   Fun, huh?  That's exactly what I said. In a far less pleasing manner, though ;) 

Update: I came across a beautifully written post comparing DMVs in Ukraine and the US in real-life detail. I hope you will find it as amusing and INFORMATIVE as I myself did!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Telephone Numbers Maze

   What is it about the telephone numbers here?
I mean how come I sign a contract with a mobile connection provider, buy a new number and very soon it turns out that my new number used to belong to someone else before me?!
   Why do I think it had belonged to someone else, you may ask? Well, because I keep receiving phone calls from various and numerous persons and entities at least once a day, asking for that other person. The worst thing is that all the callers require explanation, keep asking "Why?" and "How come?" and invariably require a new number to reach that other person. How should I know?! Don't get me wrong - I don't mind communication or helping people out when I get the chance. But 3 times a day? When I am at work? Having to repeat the same message word-by-word over and over? No, thank you.  
   So, what is this? Does it work the same way Fashion does? Is there a barrel at the end of the World where all the abandoned phone numbers pile up? And when the barrel is full, it is turned upside down, cracked open again and the old numbers are distributed among the craving ones? 
   For the suspicious ones, trust me - I am not the only victim of this system. My friends, members of my family - we all suffered from the same inconvenience... Very inconvenient :) 
   Back in Ukraine, the worst that could happen to your phone number was that someone dialed a wrong one and got through to you instead. Which is OK, right? We have all been there - no big deal.     
     Meanwhile, feels like I am being taught another lesson of patience :)