eeeeeeeeeeeee!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 11:50 am
freckles_and_doubt: (South Park Self)
That, dear readers, is not the squeal of brakes screeching to a halt. Au contraire! That is the ecstatic squeeing sound of an Exemporanea who is, for the first time in about ten years, a legal driver. Because this day I did, finally, after over a year of more angst than you would have believed possible, utterly pass my driver's licence. Verily. That bitch is passed. I have the bits of paper and the state of post-traumatic wibble and the inky thumb to prove it.

For those of you who haven't been following along at home, the driver's licence saga has been epic and full of angst and woe. I passed my test in Zimbabwe when I was sixteen, but never got around to obtaining the SA licence based on it after I took out SA citizenship. When the hedge-trimmer bastard stole my wallet, I had no way of replacing the Zim licence because even if the Zim bureaucracy wasn't a nightmare Cthulhoid thing of corruption, devastation and despair I'm no longer a Zim citizen. I had no option but to retake the licence from scratch, which means (pauses for ritual shudder) K53.

K53 is a bitch, and the task of overwriting 25 years of bad driving habits with the ritualised observances of the K53 cult is severely not trivial: fighting to conform to K53's rather rigid demands has made me feel utterly useless. But in a weird sort of way that wasn't the problem. The problem was the extent to which being forced to re-prove my basic adult competency absolutely did my head in. Seriously. I have issues with being a valid grown-up at the best of times, courtesy mostly of the unpleasant things academia has done to me, and you have no idea how infantalising it is to regress to that adolescent status, and to feel that a basic skill you've taken for granted for decades - and that represents not just competence, but power over your own life - is suddenly illegitimate. This is the second time I've taken the test, and no-one but my therapist knows that I was taking it, or that I took it a first time and failed it about a month ago. (I should add, for posterity and in the spirit of gloat, that I failed it the first time in the yard, because I was freaking out. This time I passed the yard test without a single negative mark.) It was painfully obvious that I would be utterly unable to deal with casual driving test mention in conversation, and that any incidence of someone giving me the slightest bit of teasing about it would probably end literally in tears. Honestly, I have not been rational on the subject.

But now I'm a grown-up again. I can buy a new car, and hopefully the chance sighting of a traffic cop will no longer excoriate my lawful good soul in guilty anticipation. And if another wretched hedge-trimmer steals my wallet, I can replace the licence with only the standard level of bureaucratic irritation (and also, I have to say, without having to invoke another whole set of issues about Zimbabwe, and exile, and loss).

In short: wheee! There shall be righteous gin this evening, celebrating not only my legalisation, but the fact that I managed to drive the EL's car for six months without a licence and without hitting anyone. Also, if anyone needs a recommendation for a really good driving instructor, mine was bloody brilliant.

The day's fanfic rec is all about the cars, naturally. And robots, because Tony Stark's bots are simply cute. Still on the copperbadge kick, this one is Steve and Tony and Dummy on a road trip. Robot Trip. Fun.

dear abbey

Monday, 20 August 2012 09:40 pm
freckles_and_doubt: (Default)
This is where we did conference registration this morning, on the grass in the courtyard. Conferences in medieval abbeys don't suck.



This is the hall which was the main venue. It's known as the Monks' Attic. Note: no actual monks visible.



Lunch was in the Crypt, a decent photo of which I shall attempt to obtain tomorrow, and which was moreover possibly the only place in Ghent that's actually cool. (Apart from my hotel room, in which I am sitting in not much, clothing-wise, gently and happily turning blue at the extremities).

The conference is full of lovely people and shop talk, and the papers today were interesting, apart from mine, which I totally and utterly screwed up, to the point of reaching slightly over halfway through it, with the interesting meat still to come, and being told I had two minutes left. I still don't know what the hell I did. Reeling slightly. People were very kind, but I'm not fooled. Memo to self: do not attempt to compress what were apparently two entire papers into one in future. Also, attempt to find clue.

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