Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting a Driving License in Japan Part 5

In the Japanese language the "P" sound and the "B" sound are so similar. Take ブ for example. Looks like a 7 with little quote marks. Now I submit プ. Change the quotes to a tiny circle. The former is, of course, boo. And the later, well that one is poo. Hehe... poo.

At 12:30, the time of my test, I sat waiting, helmet in my arms. Today I dressed down. Previous attempts at the Japanese motorcycle license test had all been done in my proper riding gear. Armored jacket, sturdy jeans, and steel toe boots. I read somewhere that if you show up looking "innocent" you have a better chance of passing. An Adidas track suit and running shoes should suffice. Looking like a before model for motorcycle safety (the after shot being some poor dude in the hospital with road rash and a long recovery ahead) I started the 750cc Honda.

  • Stop well before the line... check.
  • Stand up when going over the bumps... check.
  • Exaggerate your glances over your shoulders when changing lanes and turning... check.
  • Head up, eyes forward, avoid cones... check.
It was a good run. There was even an unexpected section, which I will label "downhill braking on slippery leaves in the rain", which I had no problems with. I stopped the bike, dismounted and looked to the judge.

パース... Pa-su... pass! I stared blankly, making sure I had heard right. "Pa-su?" "Hai, Pa-su". I raised my hands in a celebratory fashion.

But remember, "PA" is so similar to "BA". And "SU" is so similar to "TSU". ぱ。。。ば。。。す。。。つ。。。

Put your dictionaries away, I'll translate. "Batsu" means penalty. I made one turn too wide. Not into the wrong lane or anything, just slightly too wide.

Some people have unique views of what karma is. A lot of Westerners think of karma as a relatively direct corelation between actions and reactions. Kill a bug in your kitchen and sooner or later you will get stung by a bee. Give money to charity and somehow you will get that raise at your job. Ride illegally on an expired license and suffer by... not being able to get a license.

I won't write about this again until I pass. Unless something really funny happens, like the bulldozer (yeah, there is a bulldozer at the driving center) from the bulldozer driving test goes out of control and I have to jump from the bike onto said bulldozer, thus saving the day.

1 comment:

Molly Johnson said...

Kure misses you too sometimes. Haha.

Yes, we're moving to Youme town. I'm pumped. I'm so tired of that nasty grungy building. how are things?