I went to the Ministry of Transportation office yesterday to take the written M1 test so I can ride a Roadster in the Motorcycle Ride For Dad, coming up on June 2nd. I went with Sam from sales because she is going to be doing the same thing.
Pretty short line, pretty easy test, I was in and out in just a few minutes. Sam, however, was delayed – because when can TWO people BOTH go to the Minstry of Transportation and have a smooth easy time? Never, that’s when.
So, with some time to kill and my stomach growling, I looked about for sustenance. In the waiting area, there were a few vending machines. I bought a Snickers bar from one vending machine for $1.25, and a Pepsi from another one for $1.00. These, I thought to myself, were reasonably priced vending machines!
Next to them, there was another vending machine, selling the study guides for all the driving tests you can do while visiting the Ministry. In fact, the only place to buy those books was at the vending machine. This may have seemed inconvenient or even infuriating to some people. Like the guy in the business suit who became rather contentious about the subject. But I thought it was a really terrific and convenient idea for people who;
a) Needed one of these study guides
b) Didn’t want to speak to any actual people, and
c) Had $20 or $30 in loonies in their pocket
Sam was further delayed. I went for a walk. I got to the Mac’s way down Walkley, and thought about buying another Snickers bar, having developed a taste for them in the last half hour. At the corner store, the very same bar cost $1.65. The Ministry has very reasonably-priced vending machines.
I still had nothing to do, sitting there with my new M1 license in my pocket, some brochure about something, and time to kill. So I went to the bathroom, you know, for something to do.
The Ministry of Transportation (or MOT as the cool kids and the signs in the building call it) bathroom is that kind with no door so no one has to touch a gross germy door. Of course, when you have no door on a bathroom, that means you have to do something so that girls can’t peek at the guys and I can’t peek at the girls. So the entrance to the washroom is a mini-labyrinth where you follow the tunnel around until you are inside.
Now, when I emerge from the mouth of the mini-labyrinth, I feel like I should be gazing upon a bathroom of great splendour. Maybe movies have created unreasonable expectations in me, where labyrinths lead to pleasure-domes, expansive brothels and David Bowie’s castle. Needless to say, I was disappointed that this one had just one toilet and just one urinal.
That being said, there were five people in there. Which meant three of us were waiting. Finally, I got the stall. And it truly was a stall, as it could have housed several horses and a feed trough. It was huge! Which was comfortable for me, for a minute – but not for those waiting. And since all the MOT does is collect people who have to wait for things, I assume there is always a lineup in there. Maybe they could just cut down on the size of the stall and add four more toilets? Or eleven more urinals? Just a thought.
I guess while I was contemplating this esoterical dilemma, Sam’s delay ended and she left with her M1. And I wandered around aimlessly for a while with my ride gone. Which meant that I fit in with the rest of the folks in the MOT, an endlessly, aimlessly wandering mass of humanity waiting for the bing and their number to be called. Then Sam came back for me and I went home.