Something that was supposed to be just a peaceful visit to the restaurant today turned out to be something different. When I came out from the restaurant, I realized that my car was not longer where I parked it. First I had to look around and try to figure out if I really had parked the car there, or if I had forgotten where I parked it (I have parked many times in this area). But no, I was quite clear that I had parked the car exactly there, and no it was gone. Not really something nice.
Luckily it was a police car there, and I told them what had happened. Not sure if they understood much English, but well, “mera car gone” was enough. They asked about my car number, which I absolutely not remember. But I do have some pictures of the car on my phone, so I showed they them. They then called some towing company and they told me that the car had been towed away because I had parked at a bus stop. And honestly it is a sign for a bus stop there. But off course cars park at this place all the time. They then told me that it was only a bus stop before 7 pm. When I told them that I had parked after 7 pm, they just told me that I had to go to the head office of the towing company.
So off I went in an auto. And off course I thought all the worst thoughts. Police in India is known to be quite corrupt, so I expected this to be quite expensive. And I didn’t even know where the car was! And I have to be in Pune tomorrow. Luckily the office was not very far away. I paid the auto driver a bit extra, and was prepared for some “fight” to get the car back. Honestly I don’t think the officer there had ever seen a white guy coming in to his office to pick up a car. When he asked about who’s the owner of the car and I told him that I’m the owner that didn’t helped him a lot. He then asked for my driving license and a lot of other papers.
I gave him all the papers and he started eagerly to study them. The fact that I have an international driver license, written in a number of languages that he didn’t understand didn’t really help him. Having lived for quite some time in India now I have made sure that I have a lot of documents, and I actually believed that all the documents were ok. When he found out that my pollution test certificate had expired his day was saved! I couldn’t actually argue with this. He told me that I had to pay INR 800, and again I couldn’t really complain against that. I gave him INR 800. He then quickly gave me 500 back, and told me that I had to use this to pay for a new certificate. Then I got a receipt for INR 200, saying that I had violated some rule. At that point of time, I actually thought that he had taken a bribe. It was only when I came home that I had also been charged INR 100 for the towing of the car.
So well, a lesson learned. Not a too expensive lesson, so now after it, I guess I can take it as part of learning about life in India. And if you think I will get a new certificate tomorrow you are perfectly correct!
Talk to you soon