This place enrages. Assuredly it does. Last Sunday, my car went for a service at its usual main dealer. They called me. My car is ready. Khallas. Finish. Hokay. I had hired a new vehicle for the day at a cost of 12KD which I thought reasonable, as the picture shows. Arriving at the garage, the mechanic’s body language was not encouraging. Wordlessly, he led me with crabwise, apologetic gait to the front of my vehicle, apparently carelessly parked very close to another car. The front bumper and radiator grille looked as if it had been gored by a rhino. Pieces hung off it. The manager wrung his hands, telling me that some Syrians had backed their truck into the front of my car after it had been serviced and was awaiting collection. These persons, looking unshaven, shifty and hangdog, had eyes that flickered nervously. I had a feeling that this was not going to turn out well, with civilised exchanges of documents and gentlemanly handshakes. I fought down homicidal temptations. The Syrians leered toothlessly as we all fetched up at the police station. Ha! I have seen laziness, fatuity, incompetence and sheer disregard for the fact that one is supposed to try to act like a public servant, but never simultaneously and never by so many people all at once. The boys in blue sat, or rather, lolled on sofas, watching the TV, clearly peeved that the footie was being interrupted by an Ingleezi in a towering rage who needed their services. Mandoobs brought them Seven-Up and snacks. Their friends joined them. Amidst general hilarity, we were getting nowhere fast and had the sergeant not had three stripes and a sidearm, I might have been tempted to bang his useless, bloated head on his grossly under-used desk.
In the end, the garage showed their magnanimity, repetitiously and at some length, I might add, by offering to repair my car, free of charge. They refused to bodge the bumper with filler, which as anyone who knows me would have realised would have satisfied me completely.  The car’s five years old after all so why the fuss? All that I would have to pay for would be the cost of my hire car. For almost a week. Knowing which battles I could win, I simply paid the rental fee, got into my vehicle with its new bumper and mechanics’ fingerprints and went home, grinding my teeth. I just love it here.

One thought on “Damages

  1. And the gratitude comes from knowing…
    a)you weren't in the car when they hit it
    b)you got to see the inside of a real Kuwaiti police station and you weren't being arrested
    c)your dental plan
    d)the wonderful aroma of close quarters with manly men packing heat
    e)all of the above

    “I feel your pain” amigo. Glad it all worked out;)


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