Regular readers, or make that, the regular reader in Europe, will be familiar with the travails of my annual renewal of the license stickers for my car. I've had my car break down in the Ministry of Transport parking lot (numerous times) resulting in car-tows (numerous times). I've been sick enough that I placed the newly-purchased sticker on the wrong car. I've arrived with the form from the year before. I've left the car emissions test certificate at home. I have honestly come to the belief that that little strip mall office is, in fact, the entrance to Purgatory and that I'm sure Dante and his old pal Nick Scratch lurk in a back room laughing themselves silly as I perform my latest tragedy.
Which brings me to this year and yet another example of why I shouldn't drive. Just having a car is a danger to your life. The fact that my blood pressure hits stratospheric heights whenever the thought of pouring money into the car, when combined with giving the government money. I really should be considering taxiing everywhere. At least I know the cost of that these days. It's ten bucks to get to, and then another ten bucks to get back from, that office on the outskirts of Hell.
Why do I now that? Unhappy you asked. Turns out, I didn't do the wrong/old form trick this year. I couldn't find where I left the form for safekeeping. After one cleaning of the house and one spelunking expedition through the piles of paper that congregate around the house. And after a second cleaning and a MORE careful pawing through the paper piles. Gone. Disappeared. Most likely with the trash.
So, on Saturday, I steeled myself for the inevitable hectoring and drove over to get my stickers. It was the second-last day of the month and the start of a long weekend. The place was closed. Apparently it's never open on Saturdays. So I drove on to the main testing centre a few miles away. It closes for sticker biz at 1 pm on Saturdays. It was now 1:10 pm. As of Monday morning, my car would be obviously being driven around with an expired sticker.
I've not been feeling all that great, so it took me until yesterday to phone the Ministry and enquire about the routine (and eventual cost) of replacing the form. Turns out, you don't NEED the form at all. Nice to have, but unnecessary. In Tyler's words, "It's more of a reminder." I responded by going back to bed and sleep off all of that unnecessary work cleaning up the place, TWICE, to find the unneeded paperwork. Today, I paid for the taxi rides to and fro and now have a year's worth of time ticking away until, once again, I have to face the Gates of Hell.
It won't be pretty. Not sure how I'll screw it up next year. But something will happen.
It always does.