What it takes on this planet to have one’s driver’s license renewed

Lining up at the Land Registration Office (LTO) renewal center before 9AM. Buying a black pen at the bookstore (for the dummies like me who bring a pen everyday and forget it on the day it was needed the most). Filling out 2 forms – one 2-pager for the drug/medical test, one 1-pager for the actual renewal. Handing those in to a lady on a desk on a really narrow hallway. Getting told to sit and wait for your name to be called. Sitting down, waiting for your name to be called, for about 30 minutes. Drinking 500ml of water to actually be able to pee when your turn comes. Holding that peeing sensation when it comes before you’re called. Staring at other waiting patrons. Getting stared right back at.
Getting your name called for the urine sample. Being given the small container for your fresh pee. Peeing on the small container in the ladies’ loo. (There’s a technique to that, too.) Handing the half-full pee container over at the pee counter. Paying P450.00 at the cashier’s. (Receiving no receipt). Getting back to the sitting area to wait out another 30 minutes for the medical test. Hearing the PA explain the system slowdown: As we have to be online with the DOH server now, our system is much, much slower. Please do not compare the processing time from before because it’s changed greatly. Thinking: Like that doesn’t make sense, at all. Reading signs all over: System slowdown due to DOH server. Thinking: like that makes complete sense – not.

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