And…we’re back.

Welcome back to the US.

Alright, get back into the swing of things, then.

DD coffee, good to see you again.

In order to drive my car, I need to reinstate the insurance.  In order to do that, I need to reregister my car.  In order to register in the good ol’ state of PA, I need to have a PA driver’s license.  In order to have a PA license, I have to give up my old CA license; it immediately becomes terminated once I get my valid PA license.

Going to the auto tags office to get this all done, my mother in tow?  Yep – I know – try not to be too jealous.  We immediately learn we needed to do the aformentioned steps A, B, & C, and the office for step A was closing in 40 mins.  Probably not gonna make it today – you, or any normal, rational human being would think.  And, of course, we needed to go home to pick up items for step A.  (I was in no rush.  I could just as well get it done the next day or the following week – seriously, no rush.  But, hey – my mother was present.  Need I remind you of my flight home or her advice on fashion and other tips?)  And, upon hearing this, my mom whirls around and beelines it back to the car with such spitfire haste that I think she just might leave without me.  (That, in and of itself, was yet another harried trip of my mother’s like-hell-we’re-not-getting-something-accomplished-today, with nothing short of the grace of God working in my mother’s favor.  With nearly 10 minutes before the DMV closed, I get in line and take a number.  I didn’t have a money order.  They don’t take cash or credit cards.  I am doubtful this will happen today.

We emerge 15 minutes after the DMV office closes, my new temporary driver’s license in hand.

Seriously, Mom, you won that one.  You just pulled a hat trick.  A hat trick of all mothers’ like-hell-we’re-not-getting-something-accomplished-today hat tricks.

Unexpected feeling of apostasy getting the holes punched into my California driver’s license.  Why can’t we keep both, ‘a la dual citizenship?  The years I spent as an Angeleno, cruising through Toluca Lake and various parts of the San Fernando Valley, or cutting through canyon roads to get past the hill and hop over to West Hollywood; differentiating parts of the city and making smalltalk with the no-brainer icebreaking topics of freeways in closest proximity to our corresponding neighborhoods.  It is truly an Angeleno rite of passage; getting stuck on the horrific 101-to-405 interchange to just sitting on the PCH, waiting in Memorial Day beachbound traffic.  A driver in Los Angeles; surprisingly, that has come to mean more to me as a badge of honor than a driver from suburbia.  Kind of like how war brings people together when confronted by a common enemy.

The cost of my 2010 auto registration in California? $216.

The cost of auto registration in Pennsylvania this year? $36.

Hello, PHL.


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