I now officially am a licensed motorcycle driver in the country of India. The day I left for Abu Dhabi, I took the drivers test with one of my coworkers. He was also getting his license. It was an interesting process to say the least. We went back to the same office where we got our learners license, filled out some paper work with an agent, and then the agent met us at a different location where we had to take the test. In the process, he took my money, a decent amount because I’m a foreigner, so that he could “process” the paperwork. I’m not sure exactly what that means. The test consisted of driving in an eight between two white lines. The line to take the exam was quite long, so when our agent got there, he told us to follow him. We had to drive around a larger lot; this is where the cars took the exam as well. After my coworker drove around the lot, I drove, and then my bike was lent to another random guy who couldn’t start it. We all passed. The next step involved walking to a car where there were the guys who process the paperwork. Because I’m a foreigner, they said I would have to go meet the guy who stamps the paperwork. This happened to me when I got my learners license as well. I met the main officer, he was happy to hear a foreigner was working for a NGO in India; he stamped my papers and I went on my way. We left the office and the agent gave my coworker the licenses at the end of last week.
My coworker is away on vacation now, so when I got back to the office, wanting to drive home, I was in a bit of a dilemma. If the police stopped me, I would have been in trouble I think. However, my friend got his friend to deliver the license to me in his neighborhood. A guy rolled up on a motorcycle and hands the license to me. I was very excited. I used my new license to drive my friend to the bus stop. You can’t have passengers with a learner’s license. I also used my license today to take my landlady to process some paperwork with me. She said I’m a good driver. She also introduced me to an acquaintance of hers as the daughter (more or less – she said she had two sons so I took care of the daughter role). I thought that was sweet. After we got back home, I wanted to buy some garlic to make beans (no I still haven’t done that yet). My landlady accompanied me, as she needed to buy some stuff as well. The walk ended up being to a larger supermarket, it took almost 40 minutes to get there, and I ditched cooking to get some Kati Rolls with a friend of mine.

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