Mechatrinus goes under the knife

Thank you Eshda3wa.

The last thing I did before leaving home was read eshda3wa's latest post. I drove my brother & sister to the bookstore. We stayed there for nearly 2 hours (oh reminds me of the cold winter days of Canada where I used to stay in Chapters before they kick me out when the shop closes), picked up Hardeez for dinner and dropped them back home. Then WHAM...my first accident.

Thank you Eshda3wa....again.

We were waiting for the the green light. Me on the middle lane. Him on my right. As the lights turned green, we both were heading straight. However, I felt his car deviating left to my side. Of course he wasn't paying attention. He was talking on his cell phone. I honked. I braked. I tried to avoid him but he ended up knocking me off. Nothing happened to his 92 Isuzu while my newly 2 month born Mechatrinus has been distorted with scratches. At first, I was mad because I was having my first accident and I over-estimated the damage. After I came down and looked at the impact, I was relieved (you can barely call it an accident) but then I remembered that the guy was approaching so I put back my frowny face and started the thing I am good at...complaining:

"oh man. Its a new car. Its a 2007. Oh boy, what can i do about it? Man, I honked at you. You were not pay attention. Of course you were talking on your cellphone. You guys are..."

The guy walked to me with a motionless face. He stared at me and said the following:

"First, Salamu Alaikom. Second, park your car somewhere near so that you don't block the road. Trust me, you don't want another accident. I know It is totally my fault. Don't worry, I am gonna compensate you as soon as the damage is assessed. But first, let me call the cops. Get your IDs ready"

Wow, I didn't expect him to be co-operative unless I am falling into some trap..

"I bet this is your first accident. Don't worry. Things are gonna be ok. We will call the cops and we'll go through the regulations together. If you don't trust me, you can call your dad to verify this information"

God damn it. Is he a mind-reader?

So I made my phone call. I briefed my dad about the situation. He was co-operative and gave me few tips on handling the situation.

In few minutes, the cops arrive. And the guy did all the talking. He told him how it was totally his fault and that we don't wanna escalate things. No need for a detailed report coz its a small bump and all we need is this clearance paper to present to any car garage so that I can get my car fixed. What's even more surprising is that the guy didn't need this paper coz he does not want to fix his car. So, he was basically volunteering to assist me.

In 10 minutes, we were done with the cop. He told us to go the nearest police station to continue the rest of the regulations. It was 12:00 a.m. and it was too late for that. Moreover, i have to wake up for work tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. So I barely have time to sleep. So we decided to delay it till tomorrow morning. He gave me his card, number and made sure that I note down his license plate number and he iterated more than once that I call him early morning whenever i wanna go to the police station. I thanked him for his support and we parted off on good terms.

Half an hour later, he calls me: "Hamza, how much money do you need to fix this bump??"

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK. That caught me by surprise because he is the one calling. Not me..."hmm..I'll get back to you".

Time for another consultation call with dad.

I called him back and told him how much I approximately need.

15 minutes later, he calls me.

"Hamza, make sure to go to the station in north western Jeddah, not the one in east or south. It is on..." and he gave me directions.

"Ok, thank you. I'll meet you there tomorrow"....wow, too good to be true.

Next day, I wake up and go to work normally. At 9, he calls me: "Hamza, wanna meet up there at 10 a.m.? trust me, let's go there early before it gets crowded or they start to get all moody on us"

All that time and I am talking to myself, am I the one whose car is damaged or is it his car?

So we meet up there. And I wish everything was as smooth as that guy.

The Jeddah Traffic Department is rated to be the worst government office you'd enter. They have the laziest; most uneducated, arrogant, hostile officers ever. They have no sense of respect for the person they deal with. The first thing I said as I walked in was "Kol 3am wintoo bikheir". No response. Before we started to present our case, he raged and said "come back on Saturday". We do some begging. "come back after dohr". More ass-kissing. "we ran out of registration forms and the officer with the registrations forms is not here. He might show up and he might not because its eid". So we had to succumb to our fate and wait.

The normal regulations you go through during an accident go as follows: first, a cop investigates a scene and writes a brief report about the accident (already done). If the two parties decide to solve it among them, then all you need is this clearance paper from the traffic department that they have assessed the accident and they are OK with it. If the two parties don't reconcile, then its a whole different story. The cops need to write a detailed report and decide who to blame. After that, they would request an estimate of the cost of the damage for the cars from 3 different garages, and they'll take the lowest.

For us, it was just simple. We only needed that freaking paper for the clearance coz the guy is going to pay me the money.

After 1 hour, the officer who runs the department came and in him we saw our saviour from this cursed land. But all our hopes went to no avail when he brushed us out saying its none of his business.

That was unbelievable. If the cop running the department is saying "none of my business" then whose business is it.

As time ticked by, we waited and we discovered that we are not the only ones. We have witnessed over 18 cases where they only resolved one case just because the guy was injured and was bleeding from his severe injuries. We were all sitting in the waiting room while 5 officers are in one shared office drinking their coffee and eating from a plate of sweets.

I wish I don't have to go through this every time I had an accident. I wish I knew an underground car garage for thugs who do "hit & runs"; who would never ask about this clearance paper. It would have saved me all the hassle.

2 hours later, I got this silly blue slipped paper. After we finished from the damned traffic department, I thanked the guy for his support and help because he was literally following up with the cops like if it was his car. You won't find guys like this very often.

Overall, I am extremely delighted with my experience.

  1. First, I am starting to master the art of "ass-kissing", thanks to the skills I've gained in those memorable 2 hours.
  2. The guy was extremely helpful & supportive. He literally followed up with the cops like if it was his car. You won't find guys like this very often.
  3. About a month ago, while I was parallel-parking, I scratched the car in the same area. Now with the compensation amount, I can get to fix both damages. I would've been soo pissed if I have crashed in the same area after I fix it. Hmm..you know what? maybe I should crash to cars more often whenever I have similar incidents.

Around an hour ago, I got my lovely Mechatrinus and it is now peacefully resting in its throne where it belongs. J

10 comments:

Asoom said...

First of all, alhamdulilah noone got hurt!!!!

"we ran out of registration forms and the officer with the registrations forms is not here. He might show up and he might not because its eid".

what the?????? They had to be joking!

Second of all, your book club suggestion actually inspired some ideas, me and tinkerbella are planning on reading 1000 splendid suns soon (ya3ni starting at the same time), wanna join us?

Hamza said...

asoom - I'll join you in the next book. I already started reading "The Vampire Armand" and my sophisticated brain cannot handle reading 2 books at the same time. So you guys go ahead with "1000 splendid suns" and I'll join you in the next book.

Isam Abu Salhieh said...

7amdella 3al salame ,,, been there done that ... eshe be5ze

peace o kol 3am o enta be 5er ... a bit late i know

KJ said...

7amdella 3a salamtak man. This guy is a gem! Maybe he suffered a lot when he was your age so he thought he'd help you out and not go through it alone.

Once I went in an accident with Waref and it was hilarious, just like you described. The police ma kano tay2een 7alon and we went to two or three different stations until we got the clearance. We spent the whole night roaming police stations! LOL.

Yalla bel salameh

Ms Loala said...

Awal shay el7emdella 3ala el salama, thank god it's nothing major.
And aren't you some lucky man to find such a civilized person! i highly doubt he's Saudi :P

Sene said...

Unbelievable....Are there guys like that?? I guess you are plain lucky that u had an accident with a decent guy!!

eshda3wa said...

hamzaaaaaaaaa

im glad to be of service!

the guy was nice, seems he was an expert on accidents ya7laila

yallah u came out of that a more experienced man!

i hate cops!
maybe that should be my next post!

Hamza said...

isam - allah ysalmak. I don't wanna go there anytime soon

KJ - thank God that this guy was there. but now I know how to handle similar incidents next time

ms loala- actually he was a local. But he is one of the few good, simple and gentle locals.

sene - thank you. I am surprised like you are to have a guy like that.

eshda3wa - I wonder what would have happened IF I didn't read your post. I might have avoided the accident altogether. :P

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Kinano said...

Hideous template kupo!

Too bad for Mechatrinus :( How's he feeling now?