So, at this stage in our language learning we are progressing from speaking at sentence level into paragraph level. This is not as easy as it may sound…it sure takes A LOT more words to be at this level of speaking ability. Currently the way we are improving on this is to learn about different processes…and this week we learned the process of “getting” a new drivers license.
Basically the way we will use this experience as a language learning tool is that we will take the pictures we took during this process and sit down with a local friend and have them describe the process to us in their words. We will record how they describe the process and listen to it over and over again. Eventually we will then re-explain the same process to our local friend and they will evaluate our ability to explain the process. The best part about this all is that we are learning to actually speak like they do and this it will help us communicate the Truth more clearly!
So….here is the story. When we first moved to AP we simply went into the police station, signed a few forms (that were already filled out for us), smiled for the camera, did a fingerprint and were handed our license. Well, we thought getting another license would be a similar experience, but it was not.
We arrived at the police station and joined the “line” of people waiting to get their license. The reason I put “line” in quotations is because it is not really in any way a line but rather two separate areas with people all over who somehow just know who is next and when their turn is…they must be way more observant than I am. We filled out the forms with the help of our local friend…ok I should be honest and say he filled out mine and Craig filled out his own. After waiting in the “line” which meant sitting on a random bench in a thankfully somewhat AC room with a fidgety 4 year old and a crabby baby...it was finally our turn. I finally got Roman to sleep just in time to find out that this was the part where they were going to take my picture. So, now what?!? I carefully unsnapped the back of the baby carrier and lowered Roman low enough that he was out of the picture and smiled. As soon as the picture was complete I snapped him back in…and he woke up L We signed the papers, did the fingerprints and were all ready to receive our license. JUST KIDDING!
Instead we followed our friend to another area of the station. As we walked into the room I got a very uneasy feeling in my stomach…because there were desks and computers. WHAT?!? We were going to have to take a test? Another signature and another fingerprint logged us onto our testing computer. We sat down, put on the head phones and pressed “mulai” (start). Yes, the now awake baby is still strapped to me at this point and this room does not have AC…aprox 90 and humid. I sit listening to this language through the headphones which is still somewhat foreign to me (especially since we have been out of it for 7 months). I watch scenarios on the screen and have to select true or false. There are 30 questions to be answered in 15 minutes. The first 2 take awhile to figure out what exactly is going on…So, the police officer comes up behind me. As I listen to the questions I must be taking too long…because I hear behind me “salah”…”salah”. What? Oh…she is giving me the answers! And this continued for the last 15 questions or so. Poor Craig didn’t have the “help” that I did. But thankfully we both passed. FEWSH! That was over…JUST KIDDING!
That was for the car test but we are also wanting our motorcycle license…now we have to do the motorcycle test. WHAT? Another one…same routine all over again. So, I sit down to take the next test. Roman was not OK with another test. I got one question into the test…which I answered wrong (accidentally). I knew the right answer but the now freaking out baby just stressed me out and I hit the wrong button. I stood up and said I’m sorry I can’t do this right now I’ll have to do it when my husband is done with his. She said I had to do it then or I would fail. What can I do? My baby is now screaming in the testing room…which other people are also testing…or looking over Craig’s shoulder as he takes his test. So, the helpful police woman sits down in my seat and finishes my test for me…yes 29 out of 30 questions. Would you believe it…I got a 93%...the only one I missed was the one I answered. HA HA! Craig also passed again. Signed a few more forms…then back to the original room…thankfully we didn’t have to wait in the “line” again. Paid about $40 for Craig’s 2 licenses and my 2 licenses…yes we have to have to separate cards.
The whole time I reminding myself…This is not wrong, just different (very very different)!