Yep, I’m a fool.
I started calling the exam division of the bureau of motor vehicles back in
August from Boccalatte to make sure I could take my exam during our brief
visit to Maine. I successfully convinced my reluctant brother to lend me his
bike to take the test with. My father drove up to Bangor to get the bike and
bring it down to Lebanon in a trailer because my brother was too busy. Only
to have it fail inspection and then break down on me. The only lucky thing
to happen was Luci ran into an old friend of mine from back-in-the-day who
made some calls and got me a bike to use. Unfortunately, the owner had
misplaced the registration (it has a current sticker) so I would have to
convince the examiner to let me use it. The weather for Thursday and
Saturday are great; Friday (exam day) is 100% chance of rain. After months
of trying to get the planets aligned just right to facilitate taking my
motorcycle exam (even convincing the examiner to let me use the bike), I
I test badly. I interview badly too, but I’ll save that discussion for
another time. I failed my driver’s permit written test when I was fifteen. I
failed my driving test twice. So, it was really no surprise that I failed my
motorcycle road test. It was nerve racking. The examiner was tailgating me
in a car honking instructions to me; one honk: left, two honks: right, three
honks: stop. Yikes. I failed per article 32: “Dangerous Act”. I guess that
makes me a dangerous actor. My particular dangerous act was not looking
behind me with my head but with my mirror when making a lane change. I guess
the old adage, “look where you’re going” doesn’t apply to motorcycles. The
other guy there to take the exam failed for the same reason.
Now I will have to start over from the top if I want to have my motorcycle
license. My permit expires in April (I won’t be back for another year) and
to get another permit I have to take the course again and then reschedule
another road test. I guess considering that I am hardly ever in the country
it doesn’t make much sense to have a motorcycle license here. That is what I
love about our lifestyle; when it gets too difficult to be legal, just
No, the real problem is going to be explaining to immigration why I’ve kept
my resident alien out of the country for a year. Last week when we went
through immigration they gave us a hard time for being out five months. The
officer said, “residency means you live HERE”. I was tempted to ask, “Are US
Antarctic bases here or there?
But I didn’t. It was Luci, surprisingly, who chimed in with the smart
remarks. Unnecessary, so I gave her the evil eye and she quit. The truth of
the matter is that a resident alien only needs to apply for a reentry
if they plan to be out of the country for more than a year. We knew this;
the immigration officer knew this. He just wanted to give us a hard time
because we pay him to be a dickhead. Simple really: He thinks we’re wrong,
we know we’re right. He holds the key, we need to get in. We tell him he’s
right, he gives us the key.
Too bad it’s not that simple with the motorcycle examiner. It’s a little
less intuitive. It is more like: He holds the key, I need to get in. I look
where I’m going, he keeps the key. He goes back to his desk, I get on a
plane. At least getting residence is a little more straightforward: fill
out all this paperwork, send us some documents and a check for $x.xx and
we’ll give you a work permit. Who’d have thought that it would be more
difficult to get a motorcycle license than legal residence in either Italy
or the US.
In Italy, you are given the right to drive a motorcycle with your driver’s
license. So with my US license and an international driving permit, I am
legal to ride a motorcycle in Italy. Well, kind of. Nothing is really
straightforward there. So I got my international driver’s license the other
day. I also got the motorcycle endorsement using my motorcycle permit (the
AAA guy had to break out the rule book on that one). I had him post date it
to the maximum allowed, 6 months. So at least I’m legal to drive a
motorcycle with a passenger until March of 2008. As long as I’m out of the
But, the fact remains: I’m still a
Archive for September, 2006
Yep, I’m a fool.
My new nephew Silas!
BootsNAll, the host of my blog, has been going through some changes. They
are now using a different software to manage blogs and this post is a bit of
an experiment in using it. I can now post from e-mail which should make life
much easier from Antarctica where I will only have access to a sat-phone
line. I have also been changing the look of the blog. If you can’t view it
properly make sure you are here blogs.bootsnall.com/luke.
We are back in Maine for a very short time before we leave for Antarctica.
Tomorrow I have my motorcycle exam. It has proven difficult to get a bike
to use that meets all the right criteria. I’ll write a full post later about