aaron2

Kindly Put a Sharp Stick in My Eye

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(Three) Years have gone by and I found that once again my Philippine Drivers License was about to expire. Which only seems fitting as the Philippines, gave me my license in 1997 and I used a (Three years expired) Florida license to get my new Philippine one. I tried to renew my Florida license, but because I was over fifty I had to appear in person to take an eye exam. So flying from San Francisco to Florida on my dime, just to take an eye exam? I think not.

Get a California Drivers License? God forbid, Military Sealift Command was headquartered in San Francisco and California wants any excuse to charge high paid merchant marines their state income tax. My name went on nothing in that state, and even my mail forwarding was out of Pikes Place Fish Market in Seattle Washington just to be sure California couldn’t get my money.

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So now I can’t rent a car, but the Bay Area has great public transportation, and I heard that Daily City, had Jeepney’s and Trike’s (If the joke escaped you, Google Daily City The old home of Baseball’s Candlestick Park and learn about the Philippine capital of America)

I flew back to Olongapo, my wife who has never driven found out where the Land Transportation Office was (Driver License Division) if you need tags that were at different office across town. Go figure that!

I handed in my overly expired Florida License, not a word said, I assume it was a non-issue, Remember the year was 1997 so all paperwork was hand scribed, and as for a picture (I brought 3 each 2×2 photos.) which had to be sent to Manila and only there could they print out my official brandy new Philippine drivers license. I was given a receipt and told that it was good to drive on.

I flew back to San Francisco a few months later (Still no hard copy of my new license from Manila) At Budget car rental, I hand my OFFICAL RECEIPT to the Filipina clerk, and was in my rental and on the road within 10 minutes (No questioned were asked.). A few weeks later a lady ran a stop sign in Jack London Square in Oakland and t-boned that rental car, the investigating cop’s folks were from Pampanga, and he understood the official receipt. The rental company kindly, (while I ate lunch) sent a truck with a new car and took away the broken one. No one was hurt. But the Californian lady did try to sue me, but had to deal with Budget’s huge law firm, and the police report that said I was the victim. I really wasn’t involved; but her lawyer wanted me to appear in court. I told him I was in the Persian Gulf and if he would send airfare, I’d be there. It never happened! Budget’s crafty legal team crushed the malefactor with the bogus lawsuit. I should have fallen out of my car screaming; “Oh my neck!” But that would have kept me off my next ship. BTW in 1999 I finely received the hard copy of my license back from Manila which was soon to expire, and because of leaving for sea, I applied again (I just wanted another valid Official Receipt)

So Monday Morning we put it off until Tuesday and once more to Wednesday does it matter? But now on Thursday I’m off to the second deck of the PagAsa market on Gordon Ave. I’ve been informed that there is no more drug testing, but an eye exam is required, shades of Florida!

I went online and got a copy of the questions on the exam: A sample question from the Philippine drivers test:If the Jeepney driver ahead of you extends his left arm straight out, you are fairly sure that he is going to

a. Order a cigarette from the vendor standing in traffic
b. Turn left at the next intersection even if there is no road there
c. Pull off to the side of the road to stop and sleep for one hour
d. None of the above or all of the above?

In the sixties a famous singer from Boston (Sid Walsh) lost his left eye during the war (Yes the big one WW-II) The Massachusetts DMV had a two eye rule for riding motorcycles and Sid loved his 1947 Harley Knucklehead full dresser. During the eye exam he would take his left hand and cover his left eye, when they told him to switch he would take his right hand and cover his left eye. No problem with that silly rule! I can only hope I have fewer problems with my eye exam.

Thursday morning 0915 arrive at the LTO first I go to the Lord Jesus medical center, where they take my blood pressure 145×88, pay P-150.00 no eye exam required because I wear glasses. So if you are legally blind, just borrow a pair of glasses and you’ll pass. Proceed to Windows 1 thru 5 of the LTO section, window #1 submit my old license and medical paper work. They hand me a small square with the number four on it. Next I’m called to window 3 for E-Photo and E signature (Window #2 was manned but no one ever went there, I said nothing as that was the man’s Rice Bowl we are talking about. Return to seat, so far 11 minutes have gone by. Call by name to window 4 pay the fee. P-220.00 sit and in less than two minutes I’m called to window five where my receipt is issued and they explained my hard copy license will be made in Manila and check back the end of July. (Wow shades of 1997 all over again) So I walked away (With my brand new OFFICIAL RECEIPT) I was thinking how fast and efficient that whole process was, until I realized that the folks ahead of me were still sitting where they were when I started, then Mayang broke my bubble and explained that at age 69, I got senior citizen treatment, and I paid less, I never think of myself as getting old until moments like that. Oh, BTW I went back and turned in that little square card with the number 4 on it and never figured out why it had been given to me in the first place.

Mayang went in March 2015 to renew her license; she received her hard copy from Manila in February 2016, and now has two years on it before it expires.

Mayang took me to lunch at the Sit-N’ Bull for a French Dip Roast Beef sandwich with Au-Jus and onion rings. I was parked back at home within a few hours of leaving the house. Tell me you have a problem with customer service here on this enchanted set of islands!!! I think not (If you’re age 69). So Kindly refrain from Putting a Sharp Stick in My Eye, it is not required at all.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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john.j.
john.j.
5 years ago

Im the same age Paul, bill paying is good too. Water, current, front of the line everytime.

bigp
bigp
5 years ago

Hope you enjoyed the onion rings.

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  bigp

I believe that is correct.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  MindanaoBob

Mindanao Bob;
Those onion rings were most correct Bob! (lol)

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago

John;
I am involved in no bill payment, I don’t even go on those days that my wife has claimed as her duty, and it is not to be infringed upon by any other mortal. As if I’d want too! But you are right there are benefits to advanced age that I would gladly surrender to be younger! (LOL)

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago

Loren;
I almost ordered french fries until Ron stopped by the table to say “HI”, when he asked about you, Onion Rings sprung to mind, do I have to tell you how good they were? (LOL)

Greg
Greg
5 years ago

I understand the senior citizens discount is not applicable to non Filipino citizens but using the seniors line by foreigners aged over 60 is ok ?

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Greg

Greg; I really don’t fully understand how the senior discounts work, but I’ve been told that with an I-card we are able to avail of them. Now how true this is I really don’t know, but with never applying for them I did receive them, they must have assumed I have the I card since my license number starts with “97” (the first year it was issued to me,) or I was one hell of an over-staying SOB and they respected me for getting away with it for all these years. (LOL) Check with the nearest SS office and get… Read more »

Dennis Glass
Dennis Glass
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

I have a senior citizen card and I do not have an I card. You just go to your local baranguay office and they are happy to accommodate you. No fuss and no muss. I use it all the time. No for Paul and Bob. Ahhhhh, hmmm how do I say this? head scratching. I feel like I can talk to you young boys openly since I am older than you. I am 70. 69 cause a lot of aches and pains. 70 is a ^^*(U)(HJY&(%RRF&(*)!But my point is; getting older is not for the weak or for sissies. You… Read more »

Bob New York
Bob New York
5 years ago

As far as I know, officially the Senior Citizen benefits in PH do not apply to foreigners but that is going by reading and here say on the internet. My visits to Iligan City in Northern Mindanao involve me arriving at NAIA, Manila and then taking a domestic flight to Cagayan De Oro. All flights to this area are handled by budget carriers such as Phil Air Xpress and Cebu Pacific. Upon entering the check in area for Phil Air Xpress at NAIA Terminal 3 a couple of years ago I was asked my age. I thought this quite unusual… Read more »

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob New York

BOB (NY)
Something’s you just accept and say thanks, if it involves money I’d not hold my inhalation for very long, but again it did happen at the LTO. So it remains a mystery to me and probably always will. An added perk in living here!

Gary Dadds
Gary Dadds
5 years ago

As a forienger you are not allowed the discount card but are allowed to receive any discount offered, it just from their good will. It’s not a right as with a citizen.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary Dadds

Gary;
Where does this information come from? I’ve heard so many versions of how it works that I am skeptical of all. I’ve tried online resources and they fall short of a complete answer. So I don’t deal with it, but like at the LTO, if offered, I’ll smile and say; “Thank You!!!” I think that is the best any of us can do.

AJ UK
AJ UK
5 years ago

Hi Paul

Your article reminded me to look at my PI drivers license………….lo and behold, it is due for renewal next month!

Not sure it was the intention of the article but it served as a reminder to me!

Cheers

AJ UK

PS – don’t worry about your SMB shares as I am drinking enough to keep their production levels high.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  AJ UK

AJ UK;
Of course that was my public service message for the week! Believe that and I’ll sell you a bridge to Mindanao from Luzon. But I’m glad it helped. Keep doing your part for San Miguel Corp, because with my buddy Tommy out of the country and my problems, their sales are down for this quarter.

Alexander
Alexander
5 years ago

I was at the local grocery store a month or so back. There was only 1 checkout and about 20 people falling in line (myself being one of them) I see this old lady hobble up to the front of the line and pay for 2 or 3 different items. The guy behind me started running his mouth about (Sumingit sa pili) cutting in line. I quickly reminded him she was a senior (walang singit sa senior) and you could tell he was humbled by a foreigner defending one his HIS own.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 years ago
Reply to  Alexander

Alexander;
You are my new hero; you did exactly what was required of a gentleman. BTW Thank you!

Bong
Bong
5 years ago

Happy Birthday Paul!

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