Here’s my scooter parked in the rosemary bush. Every time I pull out of the driveway wafts of rosemary follow me around the house into the street. This adorable red scooter cut through all the red tape and got officially registered on base yesterday!!! That was the culmination of days and days spent driving between the registration office, the licensing office and the Japanese dealership—NONE of which are near each other or in agreement about what I need or the order I should get it. Regardless, we prevailed. Yesterday the time came to actually bring the scooter to base to get my practice license plates and start my 30 days, 250K practice time. Driving to the front gate was the first time I’d scooted around on real roads with traffic lights and stuff and I thought it might be too fast and scary. Not the case! Japanese drivers are so used to scooters and gave me plenty of room, didn’t run me off the road, gave me time to get up to speed etc. It’s fun to see Japan on a scooter; I can see more and have lots of time to look around at traffic lights and no one knows I’m not Japanese. But then I got to base and had to pretend I’d pushed the scooter all the way from my house and get it inspected and registered. Then I went to the licensing office to start the mile counter and…IT WAS CLOSED ALL DAY FOR NO REASON. Of course. But today–TODAY!–is my day of victory. The licensing office was open and my mileage is now being clocked. I’ve already done more than 20K. Fun stuff! A good and bad thing is I can smell everything I drive by: roses, pine trees, assorted late-spring blooms, the river, wood smoke, exhaust, tires, someone’s brakes needing to be replaced, antifreeze, landfills. I love my scooter. It’s wild and adventurous. And “so cute!” according to all the Japanese ladies.