Yesterday I received my Chinese driver's license. Hurrah! For the first time in my life getting the license was super easy. No failed test (Holland), no visit to some remote office where you can only get to if you already have a car and license (Ohio), no repeat trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles (Washington, D.C.). I just handed in a bunch of photos and my D.C. driver's license and -- only because we are diplomats here -- the deed was done in a day or so.
Of course this is the (more than) easy way to get a license. Expatpackage.com just two weeks ago had a funny story and some good resources for getting your license in Beijing as a foreigner. If you have a minute, I would read it, as the example from the test that is mentioned in the article is very funny.
I actually only realized today that my own name does not appear on the license at all. My picture is on it, but the name on the card is 彭勃夫人, Peng Bo furen, also known as Peng Bo's (Paul's) wife! Hah, another darn good reason to stay together :-) My dictionary says a furen is a "a lady of high rank; the wife of a feudal lord; the wife of a high official" and also specifically the "wife of a diplomat." All right then, I suppose that's who I am now.
Incidentally, it's not that I can do much driving as of yet. Our car is being shipped here from the U.S. and is now supposed to arrive some time "soon," like this week or the next. Well, next week is a holiday week because of the October 1 National Day (The date the People's Republic of China was founded), so I probably won't see a car any time soon. Until then, this feudal lady will just keep going on her bike and with the occassional taxi. I suppose there is no harm in that. :-)
Peng bo furen