Saturday, June 2, 2012

City Curb - 2; Renee still 0 - Part II

You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? Well, that should probably be the title of this post as had I known then, what I know now, my Monday would have gone a lot differently.

As you will no doubt recall, I had a 'smushed in' muffler to fix on this fine Monday morning. I called my boss to tell her I'd be in late and then called the Lexus dealer to make an appointment. Luckily, they could take me right away. 10 minute drive later and I was at the shop. They inspected the car and told me I'd have to take it to the body shop in Mussafah as I had bent a bracket near the top of the muffler pipe which needed to be bent back into shape.

Great, Mussafah. Let me tell you a little about Mussafah. It's the industrial area of Abu Dhabi and HUGE and confusing to drive through and packed with car repair shops of every kind you can imagine. And always busy - lots of traffic and lots of trucks. It was also a 25 minute drive. Off I went with my trusty map and a few prayers that I wouldn't get lost.

And you know? For probably the first time here in Abu Dhabi, I didn't get lost! Wow, maybe my luck was changing?  not so fast

The body shop guys took a cursory look and then asked if I had a police report. Huh? But it was just me, there weren't any other cars involved. I still needed a police report if I planned to make a claim on insurance, which I didn't have to, technically, but they suggested that they might need to replace the entire muffler system as well as the bumper that was getting melted from the exhaust of the 'smushed in' muffler. Sounded like the repairs could add up quickly so an insurance claim seemed a prudent route to take.

So I called the police and got more bad news. You have to get the police report at the location of the accident - no exceptions (and believe me, I tried) which meant I had to drive back to the supermarket (across the street from work) which was almost 30 minutes away. (sigh)

And you know the worst part? I KNEW about the police report thing. One of Brian's co-workers tried to fix a dent in his muffler and had to get a police report before they would work on his car, so I KNEW!!! Why didn't that nugget of information pop into my head the moment I heard the crunch? I don't know, but it was causing me some serious stress now.

Off to the supermarket and another call to the police to meet me there. After some photos of the offending curb and the car, a few unappreciated smirks from the policeman, and a 300 dirham fine for "making a mistake, Madam", I had my police report in hand and was ready to call the insurance company.

Who told me I had to make the claim in person with the car ... in Mussafah.

This time I did get lost, but not too badly and after a second trip around the large block found the insurance office. I presented my police report, explained what happened and waited to hear where I would need to take the car next - I was expecting to have to go back to the Lexus body shop (only about 5 minutes away thank goodness).

So I was unprepared to hear, "Madam, the police report is not available online yet. You can come back tomorrow?"

(in my head) GAAAAA!
(out my mouth) "Oh no, I'm missing so much work. Is there any other option?"
"You come back tomorrow at 8am and I take you right away, Madam."
"I'm just worried about driving the car any more. I don't think it's safe. And I'm missing so much work." (sad and pleading eyes - shamelessly milking the helpless female angle)
"Okay Madam, okay. If you want to leave keys. I look for report tomorrow and take it to garage and call you when finished. Okay?"

Okay? Not just okay, completely awesome!! I was so happy, I almost hugged him ... which would have been a whole other story involving the police and probably deportation.

I happily left him my keys and caught a taxi to work.

Stay tuned for Part III - All sorted and on the road again

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