Thursday, 3 November 2016

In a pickle with the Police

I am very law abiding - I'm also a bit obsessive about having the correct papers and licences. I also possibly have an OCD about insurance so after Teo died I went not once, not twice but three times to the bank to check all our insurance policies were in order.  They were, I was assured, all three times. How long have I lived here?  I really should have known better.

On the Thursday before the wedding I was driving home with the car stuffed to the brim with booze. Jake was squashed into a corner of the back seat by 4 cases of wine and I had beer in the boot and Rakı in the front, so I suppose it was sod's law that I got stopped by the traffic police for a routine check. Aware in these increasingly alcohol-averse times that I was a mobile caricature of a middle-aged ex-pat, I started to explain about the wedding but the cop wasn't interested. My compulsory road insurance was out of date.  Now I was pretty confident that it wasn't but my agent was on holiday so I rang her assistant. She was on a course in Istanbul but answered anyway but couldn't do anything until her lecture finished.  So being Turkish, I ignored my British reticence to disturb a well earned holiday and rang my agent's mobile and she, being Turkish, answered, even though she was on a beach.  She was equally sure that I was legal, having faced me three times in the past three months. She would ring back in 5 minutes. She didn't.  By this time I had been asked to step out of the car and a fine had been issued, as according to the polite policeman, the computer is never wrong and my insurance had run out (but my tax and fully comp insurance were fine, but that didn't cut any ice). By now Jake was also out of the car and we were both sitting in the roadside traffic office, tea had been provided plus the number of an insurance agent to get me the required piece of paper as my agent had suddenly remembered that she was on holiday and wasn't returning calls.  But the car was still in Teo's name as I'd been desperately trying to finish the paper work for the two houses before Esi's wedding. As Teo was no more, I couldn't buy the insurance - stalemate.  The car would be towed away.  I'm glad to say I found this situation funny, the only real annoyance was that I had had my always-messy car valeted that morning as I was picking up family from the airport later in the day. The friend I rang also laughed when I explained what had happened but did arrange a hire car for me. My son-in-law-to-be was very gracious in driving 35kms to collect me, the dog and the booze and taking me home, and my house guests very kindly drove me to the airport to collect the hire car so I could pick up my family. Even the policeman said he was very sorry to have stopped me and if he'd known about my husband he wouldn't have. (Not sure how I could have indicated my newly widowed status while driving - suggestions please below)
Eight days later I got my car back after a 90 TL fine paid at a government approved bank,  150TL notary expenses to change the car into my name, 1,850 TL for compulsory insurance (it was 500 last year, but I had to use the probate to do it as you can't change the name without insurance unless the maximum possible is charged), 85 TL for a change of log book, 480 TL for the hire car and 330TL to get my car out of the pound. Just the kind of expense one needs after a wedding! And if there is a moral to this story I think it is either 'ride a bicycle', 'don't die' or 'immediately burst into tears if a policeman stops you'.




24 comments:

  1. I think the bursting into tears would have had the desired effect. How awful to have all that expense though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need practice at bursting into tears on demand

      Delete
  2. What an awful encounter with the traffic police and expensive too. I like the "bursting into tears" option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The police were ok Just doing their job

      Delete
  3. What a horrible experience...but yes, never trust the spoken word...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or even 1 page of a 2 page computer print out

      Delete
  4. Sorry you had such an experience! Glad everything is sorted now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All part of life's rich tapestry etc etc

      Delete
  5. Tears ... every time! It may not work, but at least it relieves the stress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Travelling with a silly looking dog is good for stress relief. He even make traffic cops laugh

      Delete
  6. I pulled the emotional teary Brit card on the Turkish/Bulgarian border many years ago to get some yacht parts into the country - not sure it would work now but effective back then! You remained unflappable throughout the whole thing - you're one of a kind Annie xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to Dave for getting me to the car hire man

      Delete
  7. The police really are suckers for a brimming eye here - bless them - and long may it continue!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone seems to burst into tears here when ever there is even a minor car altercation

      Delete
  8. This is exactly what I meant when I said I have learnt so much from you over the past few months - the scenario from me would probably have been total and utter frustration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you would have taken superb photos of the event where I forgot

      Delete
  9. All three together would work. Well, at the least the wedding went without a hitch. :-D

    ReplyDelete
  10. . . very dear friend of ours is severely disabled. She and her husband were stopped by trafik jandarma and a discrepancy in their paperwork discovered. Her total disability did not prevent her being dumped at the roadside as their car was impounded. Traffic police are the same the world over - they'd nick their own grandmother given half a chance!
    Commiserations.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Annie, Heavens. We were getting the 'Free Annie' signs ready (although those kinds of things are a bit sensitive these days). I'm with the majority. Take the 'burst into tears' option. I used to be capable of putting on the 'confused little old lady' act when I used to have to face traffic police (it's easy because it's so close to reality). I think it probably works even better in Turkey than in the U.S. Glad it's over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My 70s upbringing really doesn't fit with the tears option

      Delete
  12. Oh, wow. Yeah, tears and act as dim as possible whenever we're stopped (never got to the tears stage but sure I could rustle some up if ever need be). Definitely sod's law that you had all that in the car and so much to do when you got stopped...and I almost ended up feeling sorry for the polite young policeman in your post, too. Glad you managed a smile. x

    ReplyDelete