Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sweet Sixteen Again

I can still remember when I went to the California DMV to take part in that all important rite of passage. Getting your first drivers license. I remember getting behind the wheel and everything after that was a blur. When I pulled into the pick up port of the DMV building and saw my father waiting for me and smiling, I almost burst into tears. I could hardly believe the examiner when he told me that I had passed. Welcome to the world  of teen-aged driving! 
I pulled out to Grand Street with Daddy sitting in the passenger's seat. I could tell he was a bit uneasy, but to his credit, said nothing when I slammed on the breaks for no apparent reason.
Well, tomorrow July 20, 2007 I will to through that experience all over again. Why? Because true to form, I'm always a day late and a dollar short!
When I was planning to move to Barcelona, my then soon-to-be-husband inquired about the validity of a California drivers license in Spain. They said "no problem". What they didn't tell us that we'd better hurry. It turned out that as of July of 1998, we could forget about it. Since I was to arrive in BCN in late September, I was kept out the deal. Too bad. I'll tell you just how bad.
Two thousand five-hundred times too bad (so far that's how much it's cost me, in euros no less). If I don't pass tomorrow, it will be another 100 euros a week plus 50 euros more every time I get behind the wheel to take the test. Not to mention that twice a week I have to get up at some unreasonable hour to go to 7 am practice drives on the other side of town. 
Funny, but I don't feel like I did when at sixteen I went to get my passport to freedom. That expectation mixed in with the butterflies in my stomach. Knowing I'd get my dad's old '69 Barracuda. Now I'm just teed off because at the end of this whole ordeal, I will have spent the equivalent of 12 years vacations (the month of August)  in my husband's village, six trips to southern France, 3 trips to Italy or one trip to California to see my family.
The excitement of getting a brand new car is nothing compared to the memory of that old Barracuda.
They say you can't go home again, and I can tell you that Sweet Sixteen Redux is also not possible.

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