Closer than I ever wanted to!
Would you believe an invite to get a coffee can result in a full hour spent at the local Police Station?
Believe me, it can!
I had never been to Barista, trendy Italian-style kind of bar here in Gokulam (Mysore, India) before I decided to join a group of students of K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute meeting there after our chanting class this morning. I was a biiiiiit late compared to the others as I needed to run an errand in between. So, when I got there, I felt so lucky to still be able to park my rented scooter just at the entrance.
But just the time to sit down, to go through introduction and… many people were up and running outside. It took me a few seconds to realize police was there and picking up scooters. I learned immediately that was a no-parking area!
As I was still realizing what was happening, I was almost the last one to go out, just to see my scooter had been the very first one taken up. An Italian friend was there as well and she recommended I run after the truck trying to convince the guys to give it back to you. And? Of course, I gave it a try, but 4 women pleading to a policeman did not give much result L. We were told to go to the Police Station (“where is it?”).
Through all this, I still had the time to appreciate the quickness of 5 Indian boys able to raise motorbikes and scooters and lift them on the truck in just seconds!!! I must say, I’ve never seen anything happening so quickly in India!!!! (apart when somebody tried to cheat me in exchanging money in Mumbay, but that is another story J ).
But unfortunately that speed was not kept in the following…
So having no other choice, with another fellow student at KPJAYI who had same lack of luck as myself, and thanks to a third fellow student who brought us there, I ended up at the local Police Station, that happened to be just about 100meters away. Once there, we had to wait for 5 minutes till the Police Officer and the 5 boys got there as well with a truck fully busy with vehicles.
The Police Officer came straight to us, the only 2 westners in the room, asking us to sit down. He spoke almost no English. And than he started trafficking with his smartphone… and kept doing it for a while… At a certain point in time he consulted with another Officer but things didn’t appear as starting getting better; he just started sweating more and screaming over the phone. In some way we understood he had to produce a receipt for the 300 Rps fine we were asked for but apparently didn’t know how to use the smartphone for that.
After some other time going by, a third Officer was involved… as well as all the boys that had been picking up the scooters! At a certain point in time, there were 8 people plus the 2 of us around the table and the smartphone… useless to say at that point I was restraining from laughing out loud!
Finally, after several tries, things got to work and magically a receipt came out of a connected appliance. Alleluyah!! Or, to stay locally… Jay Jay!!
That was for my newly found friend, who had no driving license with her and her insurance coverage had expired since a while… but that didn’t seem to bother the Officer 😉 as long as she could tell him her first name that was put on the receipt.
Than it was my turn! Fortunately it was definitely faster and in less than 10 minutes I could get on my very old scooter and leave the place… very happily!