Sunday, May 1, 2016

International Driver's Permit

I'm going to be doing some international traveling in places that Bob and Cathie claim are "full of terrorists." Adam and I are going together and so last week we met up to make some plans. And by "make some plans" I mean "google the name of the continent we are visiting, scan exactly one Wikipedia page, and then watch all 13 new episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

Well, that's not entirely true. We did save time for a quick conversation about how we will be traveling around the Eastern European countries we plan to visit.

Eli: So we can just take a lot of overnight trains and buses.

Adam: You mean, like, at night? When there's sleeping?

Eli: Yeah.

Adam: . . .

Eli: . . .

Adam: . . .

Eli: . . .

Adam: Are you googling rental cars right now?

Eli: Yes.

Adam: Praise the Lord in his infinite mercy.

And, no. Adam did not take the name of our Lord God in vain. This relieved pronouncement was wholly sincere.

Because, y'all. I, Eli Whittlemoreson McCann, am not 18 anymore. And it's time we all accept this.

For years I have found ways to travel basically for free by becoming a stowaway on what is hardly more than circus train cars. And by "free" I mean "the cost of 20% of my lifespan, repeat tuberculosis experiences, and I'm not totally sure but I think also sometimes part of my virtue."


I think I got that mixed up somewhere. You know what I mean.

Because I'm not 18 anymore, I'm feeling less and less capable of happily risking my life on transcontinental railroads or sleeping in lower-case-strangers' beds with them just because it's "free" (see same definition explained above).

And notice I said "happily." I could still do those things. But then I'd be in a bad mood for four months. And Pioneer Day is coming up and I wouldn't do that to you guys on Pioneer Day.

And so, we found the cheapest rental car available, performed a very lackadaisical Internet study of the driving risks in these particular countries, and then high fived like white people at a volleyball game.


I was advised by responsible people to obtain what's called an "International Driver's Permit," which you apparently have to go to AAA to obtain.

Note: It is very important to include all three As when texting about this place in order to avoid confusion, as I learned while corresponding with my assistant last week.

Brianne: Where are you?

Eli: AA.

Brianne: Oh . . . good.

Eli: What do you need?

Brianne: Well, James is looking for you. What should I tell him?

Eli: Just tell him where I am.

Brianne: Are you sure?

Eli: Yes. This shouldn't take very long. There's no one here.

Brianne: When did you start going?

Eli: This is my first time. I'm not a member. Apparently I had to come here to get a license so I can drive on my trip.

Brianne: Going there is one of the terms of getting your license?

Eli: Yeah. It's not a big deal. I just have to pay them $15 and they'll get me one today.

Brianne: Eli, I had no idea.

Eli: Brianne, I don't think this is common knowledge . . .

Brianne: Of course not. Sorry.

Anyway, it was a confusing conversation. And there were a couple of fires to put out back at the office, since Brianne did, in fact, tell everyone where I was pursuant to my request that she do so.

Although I don't know that pulling out my Driver's Permit as proof that I was at AAA and not AA was actually all that convincing, considering that after AAA man took my photo 300 times, asking between each if I could possibly look a little less "tired," this is what we ended up with:

I would really like to see the first 299 pictures he took.

Is it possible to get a contact high from looking at a picture?

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I am so glad you are thiking about Pioneer Day already. I was getting excited about it just this morning!

    1. Duh! Tami has been working on her birthday bonnet for 6 months!

  2. I'll be traveling internationally for the FIRST TIME this month! I don't know if I'm brave enough to travel for "free" as you defined above, but if I were, where would I find this lower-cased strangers? Hypothetically speaking of course.

    1. It's awesome. Just be vigilant while using it and don't take unnecessary risks.

  3. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is THE BEST! FYI you can also get it in Europe (which is why I watched the whole first season ... couldn't sleep because of the time change.)

    You can also get Brooklyn 99 ...

  4. A lot of countries allow you to use your own driver's licence for up to three months without having to get an international one, which I discovered after forking out tens of dollars on my move from kiwi-land to the land of the maple leaf.

  5. My friend and I decided it would be a good idea to go to Russia next month. She is a bit more adventurous than I am so we will be taking some overnight trains. Honestly, this makes me less nervous than driving myself around.

    1. I would rather train than drive myself in Russia, too. Good luck! Eat lots of vafly!

    2. I lived in Russia just this past summer, and my family and I just used the buses to get around. Most people in Russia use them so it's easy to get where you need to go (albeit it would take longer than a car.) We used the bus / underground train system for 1. saving money and 2. Russian roads are terrifying. People like to pretend that Utah has bad drivers, but they've never known the real fear of 3 Russian cars sharing a 2 lane road. The only reason we didn't die crossing main streets was because we had a baby and Russians love the babies. Had it just my husband and I, I'm not so sure if we would have made it home. :)
      Wow, long comment! I'm excited for you Anon! I never got to do the overnight train myself but it looked really awesome! (Drink as much peach juice as you can cuz they don't have that in the Utahs!)

    3. So I tried googling vafly to see what it actually was but all I could find was one of your old blog posts. So, what is it?


  6. I think it's too early here in Hawaii - I just read your middle name as "Whittle-s'mores".......unless that is your actual middle name?


  8. He better not know what a lot of stuff is....just sayn'....


    1. I really want a thumbs-up or like button for this post!

  9. I am just imagining the conversations that were happening around the water cooler at your office.

    Do they still have water coolers at offices?