12 April, 2017

Another new driver's licence

Today I renewed my Japanese driver's licence. I now have had a Japanese driver's licence for about 17 years (and an Australian one for over 25 years)! That sounds amazing to me, have we really been here that long? Sometimes, if I think about the consequences of something going wrong in Japan, it scares me to get out on the road, but for the most part I'm fine. I'm really thankful that Australia and Japan have an agreement that allowed (after a decent amount of red tape) us to transfer our Australian driver's licence without a test.
In the midst of our camping trip last July, stopping for lunch and food
before moving on to our next scenic campsite.

Having a car and a licence gives us a number of additional options like being able to explore more of Japan on our budget because we can take a tent and being able to serve others by helping them get to school sporting events, retreats, and conferences. These two things are wonderful gifts to us and to others.

Today I was also able to do this "chore" with a friend whose birthday falls this month also. We got the job done then stopped for lunch and coffee on the way home. We had a great informal "debrief" on recent parenting stresses, plus lots of deep conversation about doing life as internationals. It was a wonderful excuse to spend extra time together. We're both busy people, with eight children between us, so an excuse to do this alone was great. And again, in this cross-cultural life you never know how much time you're ever going to have a friend in your locality, so it's best to grasp it in both hands and make the most of it.

Here is the description of the much lengthier process I had to go through last time I renewed my licence. I've been "good" since then (no traffic infringements) and was rewarded with a much shorter process in a closer (and smaller) location. It only took us about an hour and a half, as opposed to half a day!

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