Getting a Chinese Driver's License
decided to get a Chinese driver's license. Not that I really want
to drive anything in China, but I've had a valid driver's license since
the day after I turned sixteen, and it seems strange not to have one
here. Seeing my new friend Barry and his wife Cory with their
little van inspired me to investigate, and before I knew what I was
doing I'd been to the office to get my Canadian license translated into
license translation office, followed by the information desk at the
Motor Vehicles License office.
to yet another office to get my picture taken and then yet another
to find out what paperwork I needed,
. That sent me back to my university administration office
to get my official residence
permit, which the helpful staff quickly procured for me.
Then, the following week, back to the motor
vehicles license office to be sent to yet
another office to get pictures taken, and a third
office for medical tests that included vision, reaction time, and
All that's left is for me to pass the written test.
Apparently having a valid Canadian license means I won't need to take a
Motor Vehicle license bureau in Wuxi. Sparkling new building just
that's where the problem came in. It's a timed
test, sixty minutes for a hundred questions, with questions along the
lines of how many centimeters should you be from the curb when you park.
waits patiently reading her book while Wang Yijing and Xiao Chen get me
Halfway through the test, the electricians wiring up the office next
door blew a breaker and shut down my computer. I was hoping the
computer would lose my test, so that I could claim I had just passed it
when the power went off, but no such luck. The auto save brought
it back up when the power came on.
needed 90 points out of a hundred. I got 70. It was small
comfort that the three other people taking the test also failed it.
Now I have some studying to do, and I'll be back the Friday after next.
And Driving in China -
A Christmas in China
originally posted December 27, 2010
To make a good story you need events, funny moments, problems,
disasters. This story has none of those things. Thank
goodness. I was worried. This was my first time driving in
China. Finally I made use of my Chinese drivers license.
On Thursday I got our favourite driver to take me to the rental place to
do the paperwork. Then on Friday, Christmas Eve right after class
I collected the car, drove it
back to the campus to pick up Ruth and together we packed up the dog,
dog house, dog food and dog toys, a guitar, a violin, a mandolin, an erhu, and a set of
harmonicas, plus two bottles of rum, a bottle of whiskey, two boxes of
cream, (ingredients for the eggnog) a selection of both
Ruth's delicious home made and not so delicious but acceptable store bought
sugar cookies, two packages of shortbread to go with two bottles of
sherry, assorted small Christmas presents, and enough essential
electronics to outfit a space shuttle. Off we went to Nantong,
about an hour and a half away, for a traditional Canadian turkey dinner
on Christmas Day. And from then on it was uneventful, if you want
to call turning out perfect uneventful.
Chinese Word of the Day: 租
(zū) v. rent; lease
When I picked up the car, the rental agent went over the vehicle and
photographed every little scratch. This became my biggest worry as I ventured into Chinese
traffic. I would much have preferred to pay for comprehensive
insurance, and not worry if the vehicle got dinged. Aside from the
fact that, predictably, the car was very dirty, stunk of cigarettes, and
the ashtray was full, it was a good vehicle. Well, okay, the GPS
gave me a white screen and then refused to do anything at all, including
shut itself off. The ashtray wasn't so much full as seemed to be
missing the lining, but the hole had been used anyway so the butts
couldn't be easily emptied. The passenger side interior light was
burned out, giving me no confidence in the maintenance level. But
it got us to Nantong and back, so what's to complain about.
Nantong traffic is hairy, with rules of the road
considered just suggestions and flocks of e-bikes riding through red
lights and head on into opposing traffic. It's more like driving a
boat in a crowded harbor than driving a car on a road. Great fun
if your nerves can handle it.
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