Yesterday, Max and I went to the Chilean DMV so that I could obtain a Chilean driver’s license. (Up until this point, I have been able to use my International Driver’s Permit from AAA, but that has now expired.)
I began by talking to the receptionist – all in Spanish. Then, I had to fill out the application that was all in Spanish. After waiting awhile, I had an interview to answer the personal medical questionnaire – and had to respond all in Spanish. Then I went onto the physical reaction tests that were explained to me all in Spanish.
Then they called my name and asked me to enter a room to take a written exam. With God’s assistance, I made it through all the other hoops so I thought, “Well, let’s give this a try.” I kind of joked with the test administrator, asking if he would translate it for me and he just smiled. So, I sat down in the room that already had two other people working on the same test. I opened up the test booklet and started my attempt at reading the first question. “Umm,” I thought, “this is not going to happen.” My Spanish has come a long way in the past year and a half, however, I realized that this test included a whole new set of vocabulary words that I had not learned yet. It would take me forever to try and translate each question, then each answer, and then try to pick out the correct answer from my broken translations.
I looked up at the test administrator and said, “I can’t do this test.” So, bless his heart, he quickly stood up, walked over to me, picked up the test booklet, and started reading the questions to me while acting them out (i.e. shifting his body to one side like he was a car taking a left-hand turn). When he looked up and saw the perplexed look still pasted on my face, he started again, reading them slower and louder; I am sure he thought that would help me to understand. After that failed attempt, the young man sitting next to me came to my rescue. He smiled, shook his head in disbelief at the test administrator, and told him very plainly and slowly…”¡No comprende!” (“She…doesn’t…understand!”).
The proctor then proceeded to get someone to help out in the situation. Another man walked in and quickly said, “Oh, she doesn’t need to take the written test because she has a valid US driver’s license.” “WHEW!”, I thought, “thank you, Lord!” We all got a good laugh out of it, and I proceeded to the next room to get my photo taken to finish the mentally-draining, 2-hour process.
One thing I have learned to do this past year and a half is to laugh at myself and be okay with the fact that, many times, others laugh at me too! That sure has taken some getting used to!
2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Your turn to share: Have you had an occasion recently when you had to laugh at yourself and/or had other people laugh at you?