G-string Journey

One Wild Journey, One Crazy Couple, One Life to Live

Licensed to Drive

After months of waiting, negotiating, calling, chasing, and pulling our hair out, we finally have them. Those two magic words that are essential to all else that needs to follow: License Plates.

We are over the moon! Of cm__MG_9284ourse, the price was high and the wait was long, but we are drivin’ on! The shiny new license plates even look legitimate. We hurriedly hop on the bike and make our way to RMA. We arrive, all smiles, and show our new shiny plates to Valon. He is impressed, I can tell. He does stop what he is doing to take us over to our car. With great hoopla and fanfare we take out a screwdriver and remove the old plates. I decide that I would like to keep one of the plates for posterity, and choose to keep the back plate, which is somewhat more legible than the front. We lovingly place the new license plates on their new home and take a million photos.m__MG_9289

Chuffed, we go to the ‘motor room’ to take a look at the motor, which is now on a table, rather than in the car. Valon gingerly presents us with the bad news. The motor, along the way, has been stripped, adulterated, battered, and abused. Holes have been bored where no holes should be, m__MG_9271crankshafts have been skimmed, and parts are oversized. I knew parts of the body were falling apart, but we did not expect the motor to be in such a bad condition. Valon tells us he will write up a list of the essentials and we can decide what we want to do.

Somewhat deflated we decide it is best to wait and see what the list looks like; no point in ruining the good vibes we have from the license plate progress. On our way out, I am informed that I cannot keep the license plate or the new ones will be revoked. I am sure that is not actually the case as every second car has only one plate in Kabul (or none, as is often the case). Begrudgingly, however, I agree to return the old plate to the Ministry. We have enough to contend with and I know when to pick my battles.ID

On the way home I ask my husband if  the car is registered in my name or his so one of us can start work on the road pass.

It turns out, foreigners are not permitted to register a car in Afghanistan, and so the registration does not bear my, or my husband’s name; but rather, the previous owner’s.

Interesting. I wonder what problems that will pose at every border-crossing…. one step forward, two steps back!

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12 comments on “Licensed to Drive

  1. Mary
    May 6, 2013

    Such frustration. I don’t know how you kept from giving the car a solid kick on your way out the door. Not the car’s fault, but there seems to be no other recourse.

    • gstringjourney
      May 6, 2013

      I think we should be giving ourselves a couple of kicks at this stage!

  2. Tina Schell
    May 6, 2013

    OY!!!

  3. luna camera
    May 6, 2013

    One month to go on your count down. What are the chances for the car to be ready in one month? Hope you are keeping the car after all the money you have invested on it.

    • gstringjourney
      May 7, 2013

      Not sure what we will do with the car in the end (if we even get it out of Kabul), but it will certainly hold a memory or two at some stage!

    • gstringjourney
      May 7, 2013

      I was just looking at the countdown the other day and thought there is absolutely no way we’ll be ready by the start of July. But, at this stage, we’ll just keep moving on it and keep our fingers crossed!

      • Roger Perdomo
        May 7, 2013

        It is a great idea to drive from Kabul to Cork. Many people would do anything, pay any price to have a trip like your, or have a chance to drive for months. I can romanticize about your journey. I hope your car is ready soon so you guys can start your trip. Might be a peregrination 🙂

      • gstringjourney
        May 9, 2013

        It is an option!

  4. Brent
    May 6, 2013

    So after all this…..the car is still registered to the old owners? I don’t forsee any problems at the border at all! Make sure you guys watch Midnight Express again soon eh. Yikes

    • gstringjourney
      May 7, 2013

      Thanks for that thought – how does that end again!?
      I was thinking maybe we should find the old owner and bring him along….

  5. Jamie
    May 7, 2013

    Get Seamus to change his name to the old owners by deed pole when he gets home next, get a passport and sorted!!
    You should have just kept the old plate an got another old one made in Quoi Markaz to give to the bureaucrats..
    Keep us posted!!

    • gstringjourney
      May 7, 2013

      You are so right! I should have had a new one made. We had our motorcycle plates made there. Ah, hindsight…

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This entry was posted on May 6, 2013 by in Kabul to Cork and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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