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.
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.