After three weeks of car-sharing, I finally got a new battery for my car and was off to run some errands. Of course before I'd even driven 200 metres, I realised both the road worthy and insurance had expired. Within three minutes I was stopped by a policeman. In the end he let me go after I, in a very bored voice explained that I was on my way to DVLA and the insurance company, but first of all the bank because I wasn't carrying any money, hint, hint (little did he know I actually had a few hundred cedis on me!).
On my way into Accra I tried calling my usual DVLA contacts but with no luck. See, I have to admit that despite driving a car for almost five years in Ghana, I have never done the road worthy myself. After hearing tales of people waiting for hours to get it done, I just didn't see the point of doing that myself. After several failed calls, it became clear that today, I had no way out. After my morning meeting, I headed towards 37, to the DVLA office.
So inexperienced was I that I drove past all the car inspection points, parked, got down and then asked an officer what I do. He looked quite amused, then probably took pity on me with Em in my arms, just in her nappy (she had poured water in her shorts) so he guided us step by step on how to get it done. Can you believe that within 25 minutes I was done? Then, little did I know, all the major insurance companies have agent offices next door, so within another ten minutes I had sorted out my insurance. Never again will I feel the need to call up my own 'agents' to sort me out!
Now, I can't decide whether to put up my new stickers or play the little trick a friend of mine, S, does: he leaves the expired stickers up, let's a policeman stop him (the policeman juicing at the idea of the hefty bribe he'll be able to take home). Then, just as the police man starts "Good morning, sir...", my friend slides his hand into the glove compartment and flashes him the valid insurance and road worthy! The most entertaining part is that the police officer is so unable to conceal his disappointment, he'll actually kiss his teeth before angrily waving him off!
I think I may have to try that for a few days...