Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One day in LA

Ah, here we are, another sunny day in Los Angeles. 85 and sunny all week long. Just don't breathe.
My missions for the day are to renew my drivers licence, get a phone, and work out the plan for the rest of the trip. Linda is concerned that renewing my licence will not be so easy. It expired back in 2010, after all, plus I'm changing my address. So no simple click-zip-done online, but a visit to the DMV required. All I have for ID with me is my old licence and my passport. Social security card & birth certificate I left at home.
In the morning L goes off to work and I walk over to the DMV, a nice long book in my purse. Get there about 10 (after a detour for a coffee and an orange-cranberry muffin. Muffins are huge here! I eat just the top, frosted part, which is plenty. It's good, though, and I know if I stay in this country any length of time, eating a whole one would soon become a matter of course, and I will gain back all those pounds lost that are the only upside to being dumped), and stand in the preliminary line.
Fill out this form, please, then come back to the front of this line.
OK. Though if the forms were just available, I could have filled it out while doing all that waiting, rather than filling it out now, and then cutting back in line. Guess they otherwise have too many problems with people choosing the wrong form to fill out.
Here's your number, please have a seat and wait to be called.
It's 10:35. I have G091. They're up to G060, but it's hard to tell how long the wait is, because other peoples' numbers start with A or B or C or F or H. And some of those get called much more often than others because those are the people who have appointments. There are 206 chairs in the waiting area, about half of which are occupied plus a couple dozen people standing and who knows how many outside for a cigarette. So settle in. It could be a few hours. This seems like such a waste of time, to wait and wait, to eventually be asked for paperwork that I don't have and sent away. But I'm not doing anything else with my life today, so why not. The seats are not too bad, and it doesn't smell awful in here or anything. It's a decent book. I just hope I don't finish it, because I didn't bring my knitting.
At 11:45 my number is up. I have in hand my passport (which she doesn't look at) and old licence (which she does) and have luckily correctly remembered my SS number so that works for their computer. No questions apart from the vision test, just $33 please. Now go over there for your picture.
Over there for the test.
Here is your temporary licence. Have a nice day.
You, too, thanks.
(If you're wondering, I did miss one on the test, not having reviewed anything or even driven in the States for at least five years. Alcohol limit at 0.05, just in case that ever becomes relevant)
Hey, look: I can vote again.

Well, that was easy. And not even as time-consuming as expected.
Two Tito's Tacos with cheese for lunch, a handful of fresh tortilla chips, bad salsa, a diet pepsi. Yeah, yeah, Tito's makes the grossest tacos in LA. What is the meat in there? Need a DNA test to find out. But it is cooked to death, so whatever, it shouldn't be infectious. Have to go to Tito's for lunch because L will not set foot in the place (not that you need to; you can order at the outdoor windows & eat at the picnic tables). Good choice, Linda. I wouldn't myself if I had any sense. If I am poisoned here and die, well, that's just what happens.
For the second time today I stop to play on the swings at Tellefson Park. Oh, I am living dangerously today!

Mission number two: phone. In some ways, hanging out at the DMV was just a convenient way of delaying getting a phone. I dislike phones mostly because half the time I cannot understand what people are saying on them. I have had my hearing tested, and I am apparently rather good at hearing the faintest of tones in the midst of absolute silence. Listening for falling pins in a quiet room is not an activity I have much use for, however, and I do have real difficulty making out specific sounds in the midst of noise. So phone me outdoors, and the ambient noise, on my end or yours, is enough for everything to become a mess.
But anyway, I need a phone so I can call people up and they can ring me back and we can work out where to be when. They fix me up with a cheap pre-paid at Best Buy, even rig it all up for me so I walk out the store ready to phone my little heart out (what's left of it). I do resist until the quiet of L's apartment. And it works. Imagine that. I arrange lunch at UCLA on Thursday with a ride to the train station afterwards, then meeting Dan on Saturday (phone first - we tend to sleep in on the weekend. OK!). I'll get Wendy later, and leave a triumphant 'I have a phone!!!' message for L. Just to prove I did it.
Dinner tonight at a truck. A lobster truck. This I gotta eat.

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