One of the dangers of living in a foreign country is that, because of bureaucracy, things can get kind of hairy sometimes. You know, for example, the powers-that-be might have changed the rules on what kind of international driver’s licenses are accepted and you wouldn’t know it until you were stopped and charged with driving without a valid license. They don’t exactly publicize these types of things very well.
So, it is true…my husband could go to jail today, because just a few weeks ago, in an accident that was not his fault, he was charged with driving without a valid license. For the past eight years we’ve used the AAA international driver’s license. We’ve been stopped at checkpoints. We’ve registered our cars and performed all DMV related activities using these driver’s licenses. But, because the police department has recently computerized their system (I know, what is this, 1985?), they will no longer recognize the AAA license.
Apparently in Brazil, driving without a valid license carries a fine and a sentence of 6 months to a year detention. I am alternately laughing at the ridiculousness of this and furrowing my brow at the possibility that someone along the process will either want to punish the American or extort money from him.
I’ll let you know what happens…
In other news, I’m seriously coveting a trip to the SCBWI LA conference and the Lee Bennett Hopkins morning Poetry Workshops. Lee is unofficially my poetry godfather (as I imagine he is for many of you). He recently accepted 2 of my poems for an easy reader anthology he’s compiling and I’ve had a blast bantering back and forth with him about the poems. But alas, the workshop is out of the question for me this year. . . hmm. . . unless. . . perhaps Lee has always wanted to visit Brazil? : )