To buy a car I need a few bits and bobs including a local driver licence. Okay, where to start? I ask around and find that I need to photocopy my passport, visas, identity card and Abu Dhabi licence, then take the copies and originals down to the Post Office. So I set off with all that I've been told - with the full expectation that they'll tell me that I also need a photocopy of X.
However, it's never the snag that I anticipate, it's always something else that gets me. Turns out that it's not the Post Office that I have to go to. I have to go to Land Transport in Gadong. Fair enough I say, where's that? Well, no-one at the PO can explain it to me. Never mind, I'll ask someone else. So after asking several people, I finally figure it out. Next day I head off there and am amazed that it's easy to get a park and there are no queues. I walk in wondering what will go wrong, take a ticket, sit down and am called up within a few minutes. I hand everything over to the woman at the counter who starts making cryptic gestures. Oh, not here? Next room? No, not next room? Next office? Next building? I give up the game of charades as I'm clearly not very good at it and ask at reception.
Turns out I have to go to Land Transport on Jalan Moura. Now that happens to be a very long road so I try to narrow it down. I drag out a map and after pawing over it for 25 minutes, the well-intentioned officer at the counter points to an intersection just before a round-a-bout and tells me it's on the left. So I set off there. It's a 20 minute drive away, but when I get there, there's not a Land Transport office within coo-eee. Next day I ask around at the hotel, but everyone is dumbfounded. They tell me either that I have to go the Post Office or that I have to go to Land Transport in Gadong. So I ask at work and get the same response until I finally find someone who has recently got a licence. She pinpoints it on the map for me. Hallelulah! Turns out it's not on Jalan Moura at all. It's on a different road on the left before a different round-a-bout! Next day I set off.
I find it without much fuss, but there's nowhere to park. Never mind, I've learned by now that an illegal park is just as good as a legal park. So I park illegally, head into Land Transport, ask at reception where they give me a ticket for counter number one. Twenty minutes later my turn rolls around, I march in with my photocopies, hand them over and hey, presto, it's all done. I just need to come back in a couple of days to pick up my shiny new licence.
Another task ticked off my long list of things to do!