Deer oh Deer!

That’s not a typo.

Not my car, but the damage was similar

I was driving back from Sunday breakfast a few weeks ago, through a built up area with no woods within sight when three deer went running across the road right in front of me.  I swerved, but not enough and caught one of the deer on the right front quarter panel (and headlight).  If I hadn’t swerved, it would have been head-on, and the deer probably would have gone through the windshield.  The car was more or less still drivable (in NASCAR, they would have hammered out the fender, put some 200 mph tape over the damage and sent me out before I lost a lap :)) so I drove to a nearby Toyota dealer (thanks Garmin!).  They weren’t open yet, but the guy opening up let me use their phone to call around.  Their repair shop was closed…the body shop nearby was closed…the rental car place was closed…I could get in touch with the 24 hour service at my insurance company.  I ended up having  to call a cab to get me home (expensive!).

Not my deer, but more or less what happened

To make a long story short, I got the car back today.  It took four tries to do so:

1. Drive to rentacar place where I got the car – wrong, return it to the one closest to the body shop

2. Drive to bodyshop – car needs to be filled up – top off gas

3. Drive to bodyshop – drop off rental, pick up car, transfer everything from rental to my car

4. Get to within half a mile of home before realizing garage door opener is still in rental – return to bodyshop to get garage door opener

But, I have my Prius back, which makes me happy because:

1. It’s my car.  It’s always better to use something with “my” in front of it

2. It gets 50+ MPG (really, it does!)

3. I get to use the HOV lanes, which cuts off at least 10 minutes each way on my commute

I’m ready to head to post.  Unfortunately, it’s not up to me.  I still have to pass French.  Next evaluation is next week.  Unless I have a VERY good day, that won’t be a 3/3 (although I think I’m speaking better than I did when I got a 2+ two years ago), so, early January is my new target.  Of course, I could be wrong.

What’s a 3/3?  FSI grades language knowledge on a scale from 0 to 5 where 5 is native fluency and 0 is…well…zero.  The first 3 is for speaking, the second is for reading comprehension.  We don’t have to reach any level of writing, although we pick up quite a bit since we have to be able to read the stuff.

If you do have to write in a foreign language, a few tips.  Microsoft Word has some nice tools which can help.  You can reset your spellchecker for other languages.  You can reset your keyboard to make it easy to type letters with accents.  Google Translate is useful for tweaking phrases and Word Reference for definitions and as a thesaurus.

Well, I’d better go study some more for next week.



Filed under Foreign Service Stuff

3 responses to “Deer oh Deer!

  1. mary lou clark

    I would like to have a second career as a state diplomatic – how did you go about getting the job – just applied?

    • rkolker

      Try It’s a long complex process (read the early days of this blog for some insight).

  2. Preachy dude :-)

    Never swerve. More likely to die that way (by rolling the car or swerving into oncoming traffic). I once came upon an accident where a girl swerved to miss a dog and rolled her car. The roof was caved in but she somehow didn’t get too hurt. Never swerve. Only if you actually have time to miss the animal. Otherwise, brake and let the collision happen. Never swerve.

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