Thursday, October 16, 2003

my first real DMV experience

i've been to the DMV a few times, but it was years ago when I was getting my license. and the torrance DMV must be a good one because I don't remember waiting in line for more than 15 minutes the 3 times i've went. also, i was fortunate to qualify to not take the on the road testing at the DMV (i took it at the driving school). people always joke about how long you have to wait at the DMV. i always laughed with them kinda understanding what they are talking about.....but it wasn't until yesterday that i experienced all that is wrong with the DMV.

so i took wednesday off to get all my car things taken care of. my air bag (SRS) light was going off, low gas sensor was broken, i had 3 nails in my tires, and my car registration was expiring in october. so i make it to Cush Honda of San Diego off Mission Gorge...(I don't take it to Pacific Honda because they are all greaseballs there trying to replace something you don't need...air filter, brake pads, rotors way before you even need them replaced. and they don't even wash your car for you. Pacific Honda puts Honda to shame....but i'll save the ranting for another day.)

while my car is getting serviced at Cush, I walk around Home Depot (get stared down and approached by people looking to be picked up for temporary manual labor work...there's a thin line seperating these guys from prostitutes). then i wanted to get some breakfast...only place open? Taco Bell. every bite I felt like I was violating some rule as a resident of San Diego. Why eat here when you can eat at an authentic mexican place? So I had a 2 chalupas and a taco. At the end of my unfulfilling meal I get a call from Cush. Everything is done. No additional repair is necessary.

My next destination, Discount Tire Co. I pay them $16 to get the 3 nails removed and holes patched in my tires. i'm really convinced that there is some guy that gets paid by the tire company to throw out nails onto the road. its the perfect crime. They take a reasonable time to service my car and as I assumed they were going to do they underinflated my tires so that i would wear them a lot quicker so i'd need new tires sooner than later. did they think i wouldn't notice the difference having my tires change from 35 psi to 25 psi? they do honest work, but try to pull some scams at the end.

having 40 minutes to kill before my optometrist appointment, i decided to drive to the DMV that was around the corner. unfortunately i got lost for about 10 minutes trying to find it. I went in to peek and realized, there wasn't much of a line at all....even though there was an unusual amount of people standing outside the line for something. I was kinda suspicious, but I didn't want to be late for my optometrist appointment, so i decided i'll just come back later. went to costco to get my eyes checked, and also to get some tamales that everyone's been raving about. it wasn't to my suprise that they were sold out of tameles.

back to the DMV......oh...even less people in line...doesn't look to bad at all. I told them i needed the sticker for next year, so they gave me a number. hmmm....i look to my right.....all these people (about 100+) are waiting to be called. i sat for about 5 minutes and realized this was going to take a very long time.

so i gave myself about 45 minutes to roam around. luckily the DMV was right where El Cotixan, Hollywood video, and El Pollo loco was at, so it gave me something to do. Also, that plaza had a lot of small stores that I could check out. one of the stores was called TANNING... i walked by it, and being a novice to the whole thing, i was a bit hesitant to go in. not sure why it seemed like such a foreign thing to me. i felt though i was crossing some line, going against the rules i have set for myself. but i said what the hell, i'll just see whats involved since i got so much time to kill.

the girl at the counter was very knowledgable, and explained the whole process. basically, you put on some tan accelerating lotion, and you stay in the tanning be for about 10-20 minutes. basically you gotta establish a base tan after a few sessions, then you can tan however dark you want to be...then you gotta come back a few times a week to maintain it. it was a lot more work that i had originally assumed, but i thought it would be an interesting new thing to try so i gave it a go. all done. a few more sessions needed before i notice any changes. no big deal. not a bad experience. other than worrying the whole time about the girl setting my tanning bed for too long. next time i'll take my watch with me to make sure they are setting the clock correctly.

I left the tanning place, hurried back to the DMV to find out i'm only about 40% done on the waiting. I went back to that plaza to eat at El Pollo Loco, and this time I take my time to come back. When I get back, they are calling #168...being #172, I thought, whew...I got in just in time. I avoided all the frustration of waiting senselessly. I beat the system! Only a few more minutes to go. They call #170....then I read the sign "No credit cards or debit cards. Only cash and checks." FUCK!!!! What place doesn't take credit cards? This is San Diego, not the ghetto. even if I run to the liquor store, most likely I won't get back in time, and even if i could make it back, i won't be able to withdraw more than $300 (registration for this year is $326). Knowing it was going to be impossible for anything, I just went to the clerk and find out what they could do for me. she gave me something I can mail in with my check due Oct 20. Hopefully I'll get my sticker before November... What a day.

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