Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Life or Bollywood movie?

The Yemeni guy who had purchased my old car about a fortnight ago had second thoughts on this car; the legal office that was supposed to hand over the car to him had some problem receiving the all-clear status on my car as I had not cancelled the complaint regarding unknown persons robbing my car - this had to be done formally, and I was unaware of the system. Anyways, I approached my local police last week before going to Jeddah for my clinical MRCPCH course, and they made the necessary papers, but this had not reached the status of an official cancellation in the police's computerised system for over 10 days after the paper was made by my local police ... and until this was done, the legal office had NOT RELEASED MY CAR or transferred its ownership to the Yemeni fellow ... and he therefore lost interest in the car. He came to me in Al Muwayh on Monday the 22nd, and gave me the story. He said the legal guy wanted me to go to Jeddah and hand over the money back to the Yemeni and then re-possess my car!

Thus, I left for Jeddah in the Yemeni's car on Monday at about 2 p.m. We reached the legal office (maarad) at around 6 p.m. We met the legal guy, an Egyptian fellow called Atef. I paid the SR 3000 back to the Yemeni, and the officer promptly handed over the car key to me and gave me permission to take away my car. There would be some delay in getting back my vehicle registration card, he said, and it would be given to me the next morning. I was thus forced to stay back in Jeddah, without any toiletries or other stuff. 

The funny thing is that when the Yemeni guy came to fetch me in Al Muwayh, he told me that we would go to the maarad, I would hand him the money, get back my car, and then he would re-buy it from me through another maarad. He seemed interested in the car at the price he had paid me. The maarad guy wanted him to pay for "expenses" - an euphemism for extortion from him. The amount the officer quoted was SR 800! This would be a huge cut in the Yemeni's possible profit from the deal. So, he hung around me for some time, then he went a little further, ostensibly on the phone, and then, made an unceremonious, unannounced exit from the scene, without giving me back my money. The result: I now had back my car, he had back his money, and none of us would probably ever meet again.

I contacted the taxi-driver I had met last time, and stayed at his place overnight. The next day, we went to Maarad, but Atef told me the required card would not be ready that day, and so I requested him to hand over the card to the taxi driver Tanveer Ahmed/Malik. Next, we went to the old cars compound ("tashliya") to get an used compressor for my old car's A/C, and a few spare parts for my Hyundai Accent car (I needed a seat belt clamp and a front dashboard box, both of which are broken in my car). We then went to an A/C mechanic and fitted my old car with the A/C, filled it with gas etc. and then went to a mechanic to fix a few small things in the car. We finished both jobs by 8:00 p.m., after which I took leave of Tanveer (having paid him a huge amount for his service) and began my return journey.

I reached Al Muwayh in the late hours of the night - at half past two.

P.S. We went for lunch to a new place called Zamzam restaurant - which served an excellent plate of Kadai Mutton with rotis. I should review this place some time.  The service was a bit slow as there were too many costumers, but the food was piping hot and very nice.

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