I Can’t Drive Twenty-Five (or any other speed)

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2013 at 3:53 am

Scott_-_Bike_2[1] bicycle promo3 heading home

By Antonio Graceffo


For twenty long years, I had a lonely secret: I could not drive.


I’m dyslexic and aside from obvious things like bad hand writing in Chinese and English and sometimes very creative English spelling, one of the weird quirky effects is that it is really difficult for me to do anything with hand-eye coordination, like catching and throwing a ball. I can’t understand mechanical systems or figure out which way belts and gears are turning. I generally can’t fix or repair anything. More than once, I was staring at two escalators in a department store and wasn’t sure which one was going up and which one down.


In school, I failed the spelling test every Friday. The first day of geometry class, the teacher said, “Picture a plane in space.” I couldn’t. So, for the entire semester I had no idea what was going on. And I failed. I consistently failed all math classes and most foreign languages classes. In high school, I almost failed gym.


I couldn’t ride a bike till I was 16, and didn’t get my driver’s license till a few weeks before my 20th birthday. And I NEVER liked driving.


Although I have not driven a car for twenty years, I did have a valid New York drivers license, till it expired while I was in Asia. New York won’t let you renew by mail. So, then, the only driver’s license I had was a Taiwanese motorcycle license. That expired, but it can be renewed any time, for the rest of my life, by simply walking into a Taiwanese police department and filling in a form.


This is a long story, but somehow Fred thought it was important and asked me about my drivers license as a way of proving he can beat me in a fight. So, in order to prove that I have nothing to hide, here it is. I can’t drive very well. So Fred, fight me next week.

Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at

See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on




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Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor)

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