Tuesday, December 28, 2004

So not lovin' it

I left work just a little early because of the rain yesterday. Traffic was bumper to bumper going slower than walking speed. It took me an hour to get from the CBD to Qurum. A distance of probably 6 or 7km, but it took an hour. Still, I was calm. I had the U2 album going at full blast. I was enjoying it. When I saw the off-ramp at Qurum I thought to myself, "why not take the beach road.. see the waves.. nice!". So I got off the highway and headed towards the beach road. Traffic in Qurum was just as bad as the flyover. Bumper to bumper. Snail's pace. Past the Natural Park roundabout as the two lanes merge into one, I was side by side with a white truck. I was in the left lane and he was in the right. I was ahead so I thought he'd slow down and give me way to merge ahead of him. But he accelerated instead. No problem, I'm having a good day, so I slow down and let him go infront. All cool. Until his rear accident guard snatched into my car's right front wing. He kept going and tore through the wing from the wheel arch right in front of the door all the way till the bumper. And he drove away. I honked the horn. Flashed my lights. Waved for him to stop. Dude just drove away. All I could do was take his number down and call the police. Except the police wouldn't pick up the phone. Imagine that? No one picking up 999. Not even a recording to place your call on queue.

If the police can't come to the accident scene what do you do? I drove the nearest police station. The police procedure is enough to drive you insane. I ended up being at the police station for 2 hours. And that's not because they were busy with anything else. It took them two hours to process my one accident. I can't imagine how it would have been if they had others to deal with. The first policeman sat me down in a room and asked me to tell him what happened. He wrote it all down and asked me to sign. Wrote it by hand of course, because the police department still isn't computerized. They're still working on carbon paper. Anyhow, I read it and it was totally the opposite of what I said. This is the essence of what he wrote: I was driving down the road, there was a truck at the end of the road. I hit it. How nice!

I blew my top off. Even the accident wasn't enough to spoil my mood. But this idiot took me over the edge. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and another policeman came in to calm me down and tore up the previous report. Then I had to go to the scene of the accident and wait for a police patrol to come by so I can show them exactly where and how it happened. Then this morning I had to waste the whole morning first going to the police inspection yard where a police mechanic inspected my car and decided what parts would be fixed and which would get replaced. Then I had to come back an hour later to pick up the report. Then I drove to the police station from yesterday to get the accident report, but the police - get this - still haven't been able to get ahold of the guy from the truck. The poor guys, they called his listed number but found out it's been changed. They called Omantel to get his current number but it turned out he doesn't have one. So "please give us two days to find him and come back again on Saturday."

When I finally get the police report I'll have to start chasing after the insurance company. If I am lucky they'll let me fix my car at the dealer. If I am super lucky they'll actually pay to fix the car. Otherwise they might even depreciate the part and give me the equivalent of its current value and I'll have to cover the difference myself. If all goes according to normal schedule my car would be fixed around a month from now.



Anonymous said...

Yet again, as an ex pat reading your blog, I am totally amazed that you have the same frustrations as me. I thought you guys accepted it as part of life.

I recently had an accident and after hearing about the police station thought, bugger that for a lark, made a few phone calls and managed to get the car repaired in Ruwi.

I understand the logic behind the fact that I could have been a hit and runner so the police need to regulate, but this is a bloody joke!

If the bloody police had a bit more presence on the roads and stopped the friggin maniacs driving at a ridiculous speed, winding in and out of the traffic just to go home at lunch time where they do naff all anyway. (always wondered what the rush is to go home and do nothing!!!)

Invariably the complete bloody idiot who weaved in and out of the traffic - meets you at the lights anyway, for why???

By the way I realise you may have a problem with an ex-pat critisizing your country, so I will let you have a bash at Scotland no probs. We have an open mind there and would love you to feel free....

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