Iâ€™ve got my UK driverâ€™s licence! Oh yeah!
No, itâ€™s not what you think â€“ I didnâ€™t take a road test. Actually I still have yet to attempt to drive in the UK at all. Through the miracle of international treaties, I can drive in the UK without ever setting foot in a right-hand drive car. Itâ€™s like diplomatic immunity but â€¦ well â€¦ nothing like diplomatic immunity.
Consider this list of countries:
- British Virgin Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Republic of Korea
- South Africa
What do these have in common? Well nothing, except that the UK allows people with driverâ€™s licences from this haphazard list of countries to â€œtrade inâ€ for a UK licence. My Canadian licence was due to expire next month so I figured I might as well do the swap. By the way, I notice a disproportionate number of “island countries” in this list. I think there’s a pro-island bias in the UK.
But itâ€™s not all roses and kitten tails. I cheerfully ordered the relevant forms but when they arrived I found their dirty little racist secret:
What?! So youâ€™re telling me I go take a driverâ€™s test in Zimbabwe and Iâ€™m a-okay to putter around in a manual transmission but a Canadian canâ€™t hack it? Are they saying that the drivers of Barbados are more capable than I, a noble graduate of Ontario Truck Driving School (car lessons)? I feel so singled out, betrayed. I bet if I were born on an Island they wouldn’t have any issues with me. At least they printed it on 100% recycled paper.
But then I realized Iâ€™m kinda crap at driving a manual transmission anyway and theyâ€™re probably right: most Canadians canâ€™t drive a manual transmission car worth shit.
Ah well. I traded in a licence that expires in 2007 for one that expires in 2017. Shazam! Maybe Iâ€™ll try taking a driving test in Zimbabwe next time Iâ€™m there.