Sunday, August 12, 2018

I am now be-carred

Mission: successful.

My brother overslept, so I wasn't able to get to the DMV when the office opened up this morning at 8 a.m. I wasn't stressed, though; I knew I'd end up with everything I needed. As at San Francisco International Airport, I had to endure a long wait time, but once my number was called, everything went quickly enough. I had to take a vision test and get a new photo of me taken, and in the end, I didn't get a card: I got a sheet of paper that acted as a temporary license: the DMV lady told me that the real card would be mailed to me within 7-10 business days, i.e., right at the very end of my stay. She told me to keep the paper license in my wallet.

The next stop was the car-rental place. David suggested that I reserve a car online because that would be cheaper, so I did. I ended up getting the cute little blue Toyota Corolla you see above, with its incongruous Massachusetts plates. I purchased insurance, too, just in case, for $10 a day. Good thing I've got money, now: what with the hotel and the car rental, this has already been an expensive jaunt. And in case you're wondering: the paper license proved not to be an impediment to renting the car.

Today's trip to REI's Bailey's Crossroads branch also set me back nearly $350, as I purchased a new Gregory Baltoro 75 backpack to replace my old Gregory Whitney 95. The numbers refer to the packs' storage capacity in liters. Obviously, the new pack is somewhat smaller, but given what I now know about hiking across South Korea, I know I don't need a 95-liter monster of a pack. I grilled an REI staffer about the design updates since 2008; he wasn't too comfortable with my questions, but I appreciated his answers. I had come to REI with a list of several things to buy, but I ended up purchasing only the Gregory.

Tonight: a nice dinner at Maggiano's (which serves Texas-sized portions of food) with my brother David as a way to thank him for all the help he's given me since my return home.

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