in the words of a certain dustin hoffman character, i am an excellent driver. you can ask a great many people. i only fell asleep driving once, and that was when we decided to go to ohio and back in a day to see radiohead, and i have never been in a wreck that was my bad. i have covered a good third of the union, a decent part of a tiny area of greece and about 10 feet in borneo.
but american driver's licenses don't last forever. and mine expired. and even if it hadn't the UK only accepts those for the first six months you're here. so last year i thought i'd get a new one. for anyone outside the UK this part will sound as totally ridiculous as it is, and actually make you thank whatever it is you thank that you ONLY have to go to the dmv.
first you fill in a form, which you have to send, along with like a passport (in my case my residence permit), to the middle of fucking nowhere in wales. I think they moved the dvla out there so welsh people could have career opportunities.
so yeah, i sent it off, and before you ask, i didn't send it special delivery. and before you say anything else, yeah i know that was dumb. but the envelope was all addressed and freepost so i thought that was just the like normal way of doing it.
if you fancy ending up without your residence permit and then passport, while having to miss three holidays, then it is totally the normal way of doing it. let's break it down.
1. report your permit missing
2. get police report confirming the above is true
3. fill out a bunch of forms and pay like £90 in processing fees
5. travel to america twice with only a passport and a panicked look and a letter from your immigration attorney
6. miss birthday trip to zagreb
7. miss razberet's birthday trip to iceland
8. miss trip to mallorca
9. get pissed and find anyone to call
10. receive replacements just in time and go back to the US, and to vietnam & cambodia
It may now be obvious to you why i am doing nothing but hitting refresh on the Royal Mail website for the next 48 hours.