Most days, I am in awe of how simple things are over here. How many steps are removed to get to where we need to go. Simplicity being one of my Core Essences, I LOVE that.
Less steps, less talk, less worry, less problemas. We just get it done.
I think of the infamous topes, for instance. Speedbumps, often without warning, usually unpainted, occasionally homemade. pretty much always very efficient. There is a village nearby that spans both sides of the highway. Kids and dogs cross all the time and speeding vehicles would be lethal. So, instead of speed signs or traffic lights, there is a series of oh, possibly 30 topes punctuating the road. There is NO way to speed through the village. Just not possible. Cars, motorcycles and trucks crawl through that stretch of highway, period. Done. Simple, efficient.
Now here is an occasion where just as I recognize the same efficiency of getting-things-done, I find myself a little less enchanted, this morning.
A couple of days ago, I parked my car in a nearby town in order to go buy a few things at the market. I parked my car in front of a nice blue line which to me meant nothing more than hey, they painted the curb blue over here.
I returned an hour later to find a parking ticket on my windshield. Dang. Who knew that blue meant handicapped parking? Well, me now I suppose.
I inspected the piece of paper over and over again and could not find a fee amount nor a way to pay it. But I know better than to leave a ticket unpaid and so asked a few people about it. While strangely enough, no one had an answer, someone asked me if they had taken away my license plate. A quick look at the front of my car gave me relief and I was able to say that no, my license plate was still on.
But later that evening, I looked at the BACK of my car and noticed the glaring absence of BACK license plate. Gone. Two turns of a screwdriver and I suddenly HAD to pay the fee.
I remember that this is how it works here if you get caught taking a wrong turn. I know this because, in my early days of driving, it happened to me three times. Three times, yes. The first time, they took my license plate and I had to go back the next day (I was an hour away from home) and go bail it out. I was baffled at having to drive there without it - not to mention not being able to do it that very day - but nope, that's how it works, That's how you hurry your butt over to pay your fine promptly.
The other two times making a wrong turn (trust me, driving here is not as intuitive as one might think and I am still learning the ropes. Also, no YouTube videos to be found) let's just say that the police officer and I came to a mutually agreeable arrangement right there on the side of the road.
And it is very possible that had I seen the person who gave me the parking ticket, the two of us could also have come to some to a mutually agreeable arrangement on the spot. Easy, simple, and efficient. But I did not and so here I am with a piece of paper that explains very little and a missing license plate that says that I need to fix this right away.
This morning I will drive to the town where I got my ticket, about an hour away, and see what I can learn. My suspicion is that my license plate is tucked into a drawer in the state office, which is another hour away.
In which case, my day will be much less convenient and yet the process will for sure be fully efficient. Simple, too.