Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bow to the gods of bureaucracy!

For the first year that you live in Singapore, you don't need to get a driver's license. This seems counter intuitive, since I know far more about Singapore street laws now than I did a year ago. But who am I to question this small glimmer of freedom?

After a year, you need to change your driver's license to a Singapore one. Erik and I are in the process of doing this. Today we drove (oh the irony) to the License Bureau. We had to take numbers and wait for about two hours before we could sit down with a clerk. We were required to bring our passports, work permits, and of course money. We had a bit of a hiccup when we didn't produce our actual work permits but merely photocopies of them. The clerk had to check with a few people to make sure that was ok. We took brief eye tests, and then were able to schedule a time to take our tests. Yep. All that work just to schedule the test.

So a month from now (because it's always at least a month later) we get to go back to the same place, making sure that we bring our real work permits, and spend an hour answering questions like "When should you use the hand brake? a) whenever you stop, b) only when stopping on slopes, or c) whenever the foot brake is faulty. The correct answer is a, fyi, according to Singapore standards. I think we're going to have to study.

1 comment:

Gina Marie said...

There was a whole fleet of cars in the parking lot for people to take their tests in, and a TV mounted up high with scrolling numbers of who was in what car and who was in line waiting for one. Every single person we saw walk out the door of the building immediately pulled out a cell phone and called someone.