Something Positive

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I had to take a half-day leave today to renew my driver's license after realizing it had a minor glitch. Apparently my picture was printed in magic ink that disappears after a couple of months - probably the same "indelible" ink we used last election (oops!). Trust me, proving that a license card is yours when the card's picture looks like it's been deliberately erased can be harder than acquitting Lolit Solis of libel charges after she accused Sam and Piolo gay (they're not. They're bicurious). Each time you get pulled over for a violation and pull out that faceless motherfucking card, you'd be staring at the MMDA dude saying "I know what you're thinking..."

Say goodbye to 100 pesos - or 'piso' in street lingo. Or if you prefer to believe in an honest society, uhhh I'm not sure what the real penalty is anymore. Anybody from the audience?

*cricket noise*

Either way, I'd rather not put up with that sort of hassle.

So I headed towards the renewal center located at Metro Point Pasay (that mall we all enter just to take a shortcut when switching between MRT and LRT-1). I made sure that this was my last task of the day since I figured, between going through 3 banks and 1 Government Office, the 3 banks will be a lot easier.

I arrived there around 3:34 PM. Given I was really really bored, I actually timed my transaction from the moment I approached Window 1 (As pointed out by the guy at the door whose purpose still eludes me, it's pronounced "weendowan", probably short for Window Wan-na waste a couple of hours with us?)

Handing over the license card of the invisible man, I told the guy there that I need to renew my license, while desperately trying to keep a straight face. I know you're going to wonder about this so I might as well tell you a sidestory. Last time I renewed my license two years ago, I didnt know there was a urine test. I took a leak just before going to their center and ended up staying at the urine sample collection room for about an hour until I was able to expel the necessary amount by trying to think of many scary things (like tax brackets). This time around I drank two cans of coke expecting a urine test.

Turns out there was no urine test since I'm just replacing. Wait.


*pant pant* I'm done. Back to the story. Where were we? Ah, window one.

The guy got my card, took my receipt and told me to sit down. My old license card was tossed in a heap (and I'm not exaggerating this) of other "defective" cards with missing faces. It didn't really mater much because I was having a pleasant time. Pleasant, because:

a) the waiting room was near empty (everybody's probably stuck at the urine sample room)
b) the place is air-conditioned
c) The guy at window 3 was watching WWE on a widescreen television just behind the counters.

For the record, WWE rules, specially if you have nothing to do, and you know your tax is helping our empoverished brothers see Trish Stratus run around in a half-thong.

Two minutes pass and my picture was taken, along with my signature sample. My urine was unfortunately unwanted, despite my insistence (ARE YOU SURE THAT YOU DON'T NEED TO COLLECT MY PISS? DOUBLE SURE? DO YOU HAVE A REPUBLIC ACT TO BACK THAT UP?) It was weird though, for the first time I was the one offering to the government and they were the ones refusing. (Other times they rob you even before your salary lands in your hands)

I couldn't hold it in any longer and I don't think those guys would appreciate me making the room more "moist" than it already is so I took a leak in a nearby restroom. After I got back, my name was already being called. I got back to window 1 and the guy just tossed a new card out, with my face properly printed this time (Though it may not be as accurate, I'm not THAT fat)

"That's it?" I asked the dude. "Get out of here, chump, before I decide to dropkick you from turn buckle," he replies. Okay, he may not have said exactly those words, but you get the jist.

There are two good things about this visit.

One, it took me no less than 20 minutes to do the entire process. That's like warpspeed compared to other bureaucratic procedures like obtaining a certified true copy of your Birth Certificate, obtaining NBI clearance for the first time, and running for office.

Two, my wallet stayed inside my pants the whole time - and granted it was a government institution - that was one helluva surprise for me. I didn't pay anything. It was almost like my taxes are actually working for me (and WWE)!

I looked at my card and smiled. There just might be hope for our country still. I looked again.

Age: 24. Birth: Feb, 1983.

Did the math? Ah to hell with it.

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