Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bring your own paper

I went to the local police office to report the lost/theft of my minidisc player, not because I believe the police will ever find it, but simply to get a copy of the report so that I can recover the loss through my traveler's insurance.

The building is rather nondescript and decrepit, like a lot of buildings here, with some fully-loaded soldiers standing outside. The guy with the automatic rifle seemed kind of amused that I was asking for the police, but pointed the way inside with his gun. Once in the compound there is no sign of where to turn or which office to enter, but another soldier asked me what I needed. I explained that I wanted to file a loss/theft report and he says I'll need to write it up and submit to the investigators. Great. Where is the form I need to fill out? They guy looked a me a bit exasperated, like he's explaining this to a kid, and says I have to bring a report. Write it up on a piece of paper and bring it us. In other words, there was no form.

Just then someone from the second floor looks down and asks what's going on. The soldier explains, the uniformed guy upstairs replies, and then the soldier tells me to see the guy upstairs, who it turns out is a real police officer and not a soldier. He tells me what the soldier told me, so I ask him for a piece of paper. Can I write it now? The officer asks the office girl to give him some paper. Fortunately, I had a pen and proceeded to write out a description of my complaint.

After I finished he says the police will conduct an investigation and that I can come back at a later date for a copy of their report. When can I come back to pick that up, I ask. When you would like, he replies. Tomorrow? Ok. What time? Anytime after 9:00am, he says.

So if he was sincere about the police conducting an investigation, that means they have less than a day to do so.



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