Monday, June 20, 2011

Always Carry A 200 Shekel Bill

The process to convert your license is pretty absurd. The first step is to go to something like a certified eye glasses store and pickup a "tofes yarok," I guess that means a green form. The optician at the store does a very quick eye exam, takes a picture of you, and prints out the form. The form and process costs 40 shekel. I count my change and realize I have 35.50 or a 200 shekel bill. Like a typical American I take out the 200 shekel bill and like a typical Israeli he asks if I have small change. I said, "no, I only have 35 shekel" to which he replied, "that's fine." In case I haven't learned yet...literally EVERYTHING is negotiable!

Another reason why this experience was "Israeli": 1. While I was walking out the door the other woman getting the same form asked me if I already had the name/number of a good driving teacher. I told her that I am just starting the process and I haven't looked into it yet. She pulls out her phone and tells me to call her driving teacher to set up my lesson because he is the best, she gives me his name and number and we are both on our way. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that would only happen between friends in the states, not complete strangers.

Now I just have to fill out the rest of the form, go to the doctor so he can sign the form, bring the form to some office to be stamped, schedule a lesson and "practical test", pay money at the post office (don't ask) for the lesson, pay a lot to take the test, hope I pass the first time, return to the random office to get my temp license, pay a lot to the post office again (yea, i know, post offices do everything here) to activate my temp license, wait 8 weeks for my real license to be mailed (to an address I don't live at anymore). all this just to get my license...AGAIN! ohhh Israeli bureaucracy.

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