Always in Our Minds....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mission Mecanique!

There is nothing more fun to wake up as early as 6am to take you car to the annual car inspection (called "mecanique" here)!

Experience has taught me that if you want to finish early, you got to show up there early! I left home (Tripoli) around 7:00, and made it to the inspection center (Majdlya) at 7:15. They usually start at 8:00, and I wanted to be the first to show up, but to my surprise, there was a loooong line even outside the center, all waiting and thinking that they got there early enough!

Once you enter the center, you get surrounded by a flood of children asking you if you got all the needed papers for the inspection. Not only do they all have to repeat the very same thing, but even though you clearly shout "No, thanks. I'm fine", they will keep asking you: "Do you got a certification of residence? Do you have a copy of the car registration card? Do you need insurance? Do you want coffee? Tea? Man2ouche?". They even fight over the person who seems to accept their help!

Good thing I took the newspaper with me. I don't know what I would have done to pass time without it. Here you can see how crowded the center is (and that's so early as 8:00am, imagine how things are round 11am!!!)

The first task you have to do (specially when you are alone), is to try to coordinate two missions at the same time:
1)Getting yourself a ticket and paying the fees
2)Make sure that your car stay in the line and keep it moving!

So basicly you have to keep an eye on your car, another on the line to get the ticket, and manage to do them at the same time!

Once you get your ticket, it becomes a matter of time, very long time, till you get your turn. Every now and then, you need to re-start your car's engine just to move couple of meters ahead, but you can't be more happier to do that, specially when you've been waiting for hours and you just can't wait to get it over with.

One can't but admire the degree of organization at the center! I was in "line 3", which is a line for "Trucks, big trucks", eventhough my car is Honda CR-V, but no one seems to care, just get it over with!

As you get closer to the inspection, you notice a lovely sign for "Important Instructions".

The first one says: "Make sure the line number you are in matches the one written on your coupon". Can you tell me where my line number is?

When it was my turn, the workers asked me NOT to take any more pictures, but I wasn't going to stop anyway, so the rest of the pictures were taken "undercover", but I have to say, there good ones!

As my car reached the final stage, they asked me to go to the clerk officer to get the result. I was sure my car will pass the test, but one can't help but to feel anxious as he waits for the results. Once the officer told me: "Mabrook, your car passed", I has this big smile on my face! I was happy that my car passed, but I was Thrilled that after two and a half hours, my mission is finally over!

Lucky me, since we have two cars in the family, I have to repeat this mission TWICE a year.....

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