Without a driving license in California

1 December 2013

For my last two visits I was a visitor and my foreign driving license was valid, but now I've become a resident and must get a Californian one. My other one is valid for a period of... ten days! Granted, checking this was not the first thing I did when I landed, but the first available appointments at the DMV were about 20 days from the moment I checked (on Thursday or so), and only because I checked about ten locations in the area. It is questionable to what extent this made sense, because not being able to rent a car, I wouldn't be able to get to an office that's in the middle of nowhere. Tomorrow I'll ask if I can just show up without an appointment — I think so, and this would be a relief.

Regardless, the White Stallion still isn't here. He must have landed in San Francisco today, and it will take some time until he gets cleared through customs. In addition I still don't have the insurance, because I had ommitted a part of my temporary address in Germany and the letter couldn't get to me, I'm now expecting it at the company address.

In the meantime I have three options to get to work — company shuttles, bike + Caltrain + bike, and bike only. The problem with the shuttles and the trains is that they run at fixed times, and I lack the necessary discipline to catch them consistently. During weekends it's even worse, because there are fewer trains and no shuttles at all. Cycling all the way takes a lot of time, because the distance is nearly 25 kilometres. The route is beautiful, though — for the most part along the bay shore, it's very calm... especially at night. A couple of days ago I rode back at about 2 AM, chasing ducks and hares on the way. I felt sorry for the stupid hares — they'd run exactly along my path, instead of hiding in the grass and waiting for me to pass by. The chase can last long in this way. Maybe I should try pushing harder and overtaking them.

The whole thing with my limited mobility is depressing. I must always check what goes when and rush to catch it. I'm not used to it... my travel times are still quite chaotic. Of course I must change myself... but this requires a lot of time and effort... and there's a lot more I want to change in me... so for now I'm just impatiently waiting for the insurance, the license and the machine itself!