Monthly Archives: November 2014

Driver’s License nightmare over

I’m officially legal to drive alone in Texas after months of back and forth with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). I passed my driving test easily. The process of scheduling and actually getting to do one was more of a hassle than the actual test.

I had all the paperwork ready to do the test and kept time for my test. The paperwork was in order, car was inspected and I was good to go. Parallel parking was the first order of the day, no problem. Next I got on the road and drove around the neighborhood. Stop signs were the main deal. I only went through one intersection..I was so prepared but there was nothing to worry about really.

The actual license will come in the mail after a couple of weeks. Sigh..I can’t wait.

The funny thing is that I was driving a manual transmission car in Kenya but surprisingly no one wanted to even see my Kenyan driving license or know how long I’d been driving prior to coming to the US. Such is life here and people coming from some countries should be prepared to start all over again as far as driving is concerned.

The hunt for a car is on. I had seen a nice VW Golf online but the owner backed out before I could actually see it. I’m now looking forward to getting an Audi A4. I’m a sucker for German manual transmission cars so that has been my main goal as I check out cars. I don’t want to get into debt buying a car in this country so nothing fancy. Something to take me from point A to point B.

I’ve realized that without a car in this country life is very difficult. You are basically as good as grounded.

Hopefully I’ll have some wheels in a couple of days..will see.

Update..

My driving license arrived in the mail yesterday. Here is a happy camper. No more carrying an A4 size temporary permit wherever I go.

Random updates..

I’ve been working for 3 weeks now. It’s been a learning curve of sorts..from the work place culture to challenges working the night shift. It hasn’t been easy but I’m happy to say I’m doing it a day at a time. It’s a new experience for me and hearing others tell their stories makes mine a walk in the park.

The only challenge I’m having is I still don’t have a driving license. I have a learners permit meaning I can’t drive alone. I have to be accompanied by a licensed driver at all times. I went to DMV last week, couldn’t do the driving test, was rescheduled for a couple of days later. I was there early morning after work but the testing officers rejected the registration documents I had..sigh. I’m scheduled to try again later this week. I hope it will be the last time I do the run around.

I’m still shopping for a car. I’ve been checking out Craigslist and I have a few potential cars to look out for. I’m particularly looking for a Volkswagen Golf. There aren’t too many in the greater Houston area. I settled for Volkswagen Jetta only to see their reviews sucked big time. I went to a dealer’s auction yesterday and I was overwhelmed by the cars on display. Hundreds of cars repossessed by financial institutions for failure to pay. I saw a few cars I’d be interested in. I can’t wait to drive. It’s a bit inconvenient for my host when he drops and picks me from work.

I’m still operating using my Kenyan bank card, it’s expensive to use but I hope to open an American bank account as soon as I get my first paycheck in a few days.

The weather this morning as I left work was 45F which to me doesn’t make sense. So I google and convert, it’s 7C and expected to drop. I came to Houston without any warm clothes. It’s Texas..or so I thought. I’m still in the process of stocking up on warm clothes. They don’t come cheap but what to do. Expected to get to 32 or 35 in a couple of days which is 0-2C..will see how that goes. I’m lucky as people in Northern states and Canada are already having snow, so I can’t complain.

It’s been tough but I’m still adjusting. Lowering expectations has kept me going.

Daylight Saving Time..

Last night at some point clocks were adjust an hour back or ‘Fell‘ back an hour. So when I woke up today, it seemed time wasn’t movingĀ  or had stopped somewhere. It is interesting as it has been getting darker early the last couple of days.

Today on the other hand it was dark outside and it was only a few minutes to six in the evening..in comes daylight savings.

Apparently it’s supposed to save the energy in lighting up residential areas, extend retail business hours, as it induces customers to shop and to participate in outdoor afternoon sports, reduction in traffic fatalities (how now?) and other reasons that don’t make a lot of sense to me.

This a big change having grown all you life knowing the same time applies in your country all year round. It’ll take some getting used to. When you were born and raised in Africa this is one of those things that won’t make sense but hey just get with the program already and do it.

Today was quite chilly indoors and still as hot outside. There is a chilly breeze blowing but other than that you don’t notice much change here.

There is a 9 hour time difference to Nairobi, my capital city. I have to adjust from the 8 hour time difference before.

Working the night shift also means my weekend starts late but my week starts late..No Monday morning blues for me for now.