Jesus, St. Jude, and I
The past two weeks have been hectic for me. It seems that there was a connivance in the heavens to play a practical joke on me, which wanted to scare me with the thought that I may not go home.
I had already found a buyer to whom I will sell my trusty car through an officemate's recommendation. My heart sank though as I checked our apartment-mailbox the next day when I found 2 police-summons sent to my old residence indicated that MY car was involved in an accident last March and that the other party is claiming for damages.
This was preposterous of course, as I told the missus on the phone that we were never at the mentioned area at that date/time. And besides, there was not a scratch on my car which indicated my innocence. Anyway, together with an officemate slash police-by-night officer, I went to the KL police station to find out what's going on. It turns out that the "intelligent" police-officer at the scene of the accident had written down the correct license plate of the offending party on his report (3687) but f*cked up when he transfered the car details to the computer-system to issue the summon (3867 ---my car). May I add that the offending vehicle indicated in his original report showed "BUS" as its description. Although my mother's brother and father are certified pro-drivers of the Martinez Bus Company that runs from Manila to Ilocos Sur, I have NEVER driven a bus in my life!
My car was cleared of course, but as you know there was a 50-ringgit "under the table" fee to speed things up. Darn it! Ako na nga naabala ako pa nagbayad. Siya dapat yung nagbayad sakin eh.
I had an orbibike exercise machine that needed to be disposed since shipping it to Manila may cost more than the original value of the machine itself. So I sold it to another officemate at a dead-cheap price (80% loss on my part, in fact). Since the machine could not fit in her car I volunteered to deliver the thing to her place which I absolutely had NO IDEA how to go to. So she made a sketch on a piece of A4 and I went.
It was night and it was dark. Road signs were barely noticeable that I missed the exit to her place. I saw the sign too late but I stopped on the highway, and, seeing that there were absolutely no cars behind me I hit the gear to "R" and backed up at 80kmh to the exit lane with my hazard lights on. I thought I made the great escape when I was back on the right track when 2 motorcycle-clad police-officers chased me and pulled me over.
"Give me your license"
"Sorry sir it was dark and I got scared that I might get lost! (showing the map-sketch) I wanted to exit at this lane but I passed it."
(officer looks at the sketch, and, realizing that moi speak no Malay) "OK follow me I'll take you here."
"Here" was not I assumed to be. "Here" was the POLICE STATION.
"Sh*t!!! T*ngina ano na naman ang ginawa mo?!?!?! P*tang*na namaaaan!" I said to my idiot self as I followed the police officer to the station. I was already picturing myself behind bars crying for mercy like that old OFW commercial:
"IBALIK NYO NA AKO SA PILIPINAS!!!"
At the police station, four uniformed officers stood outside the entrance and met up with me. I showed them my Malaysian driving license which incidentally was inserted in my LTO casing that included my Philippine license.
"This is Malaysia. You're driving in Philippines cannot be done here."
"Sorry sir it was dark and I got scared that I may get lost....(excuses excuses excuses...)"
"No! I will give you police-summon!"
I realized that if he gave me a summon, I might not be able to sell my car. At that moment, I remembered my Dad.
Dad is a living example of how to use PR skills to your advantage. One shining example is how he had helped me get my 1st POEA Exit Pass. I was flying off to Malaysia in a few days but the govt. will not allow me fly without an Exit Pass. This usually takes 1-2 weeks. With my Dad and his PR skills, it took me 1 day. No he didn't know anyone at POEA. He just had the guts to enter the restricted areas and talk to the officer-in-charge and somehow found a way to speed up my application.
So with that in mind, I said to the police officers in a Malaysian accent:
"No no no don't give me summon! Maybe we can discuss this. (excuses excuses...afraid of the dark....excuses blah blah blah...boring the officers...blah blah blah...)"
When suddenly one of the four retorted, "OK go back (home)."
"Huh?" I said.
"Go back. We only give you warning. Go back."
"Jumping Jupiters Batman," I thought. It worked! I had managed to escape a summon and possible fine that I would've had trouble selling the car. As those Christian Ministers on Sunday TV would say, "Thank You Je-sus!"
It was Friday 9am. I was at the KL airport excited to go home but at the same time partly sad leaving Malaysia. Three and a half years here man. Going back to Manila to start all over is like going to another foreign country and readjusting. All these thoughts were in mind as I passed my passport and plane ticket to the lady behind the Malaysia-Airlines check-in counter.
"Do you have a return ticket to KL?"
"No. I'm going back to Manila for good."
"Where is your immigration clearance letter?"
"Your immigration clearance letter?"
"Sorry I don't have that."
"Then I cannot book you."