Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sevice This, Ontario

I don’t travel much, but I do like to visit the US occasionally.

“I’m going to get a handy dandy enhanced driver's license,” I thought enthusiastically when the government first floated the idea.

After a lot of phoning and e-mailing back and forth, the Service Ontario license bureau was willing to grant me an interview. I anxiously waited the two weeks it took for them to fit me in. They had nailed my appointment time down to the exact minute and I was in a state of high anxiety. If I missed it I might have to wait who knows how long for another chance. I hadn’t been to the States in over a year but because I couldn’t just cross the border willy nilly anymore, I felt a desperate need to see Buffalo again.

I arrived at my appointed time and I waited.

Now the upside of aging is that as your eyesight and hearing diminish, your chutz pah grows. After about half an hour of bench sitting I saw an empty wicket. I scooted into it before the person whose name was called could reach it. I eyed the old lady whose place I had usurped. I figured I could take her down if I had to, so I quickly explained my predicament to the woman behind the counter.

According to her, they had called my name at the appointed time but when I didn’t appear they had simply moved on, but now that I had arrived, they would try to fit me in.

Right. So kind. Get a bullhorn.

I went back to my seat, avoiding the old lady, and waited some more.

Eventually I was indeed serviced and it cost me forty some odd dollars.

I was serviced again last week when I found out my brand new enhanced license had to be renewed on my birthday. Same rigmarole about appointments. This time it cost me seventy-five dollars.


Take my advice, folks, if you have a burning desire to see Buffalo – get a passport.

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