Day 34

Friday, 30 January, 2009

So today was THE day that I finally got registered with the police office…prior to that, there was so much bullshit and fuckery involved I nearly cried. Really, I was going to risk the 1,400 (about $30) rupee fine because it was such a headache. Why and how was it a headache, you ask…

Well, first TWO WEEKS ago, Colin had the form for me to fill out. Ok, I filled it out…went to get the pics taken — all 4 of them. I signed the form and off it went. A few days later I was supposed to go to the police station, but I had a nasty bout of Delhi poops (2nd time~) and I stayed home to camp by the heater with the fan on thanks to the hot and cold shivers.

Colin goes to the police station, gets there and is told, "You need to have 4 copies of this form. Where is your wife?" He explains…but that wasn’t good enough. Ok, I can live with their reaction. It’s fair enough, but the fact is, I had already been in that building before. The thought of using THOSE toilets made me want to stay home. Most of you know by now that I will hold it until I get home unless it’s explosive pewpage that threatens. That was the case that particular day.

Okay…so off he trots back to me after making said copies, with me signing my name across the top of my pic so that it’s partially on the paper and on the pic. A bit strange, but ok, I’ve learned to accept that this is how it’s done here. It’s Friday and they had a holiday or something, so the office was closed on Monday. Cool. So we go back on Tuesday, only to find out that they are not happy that my passport and his passport don’t have matching names.

Sidebar — after our wedding 10 years ago, I just never bothered to change my passport over to my newly married name. I still had time on it and I just couldn’t be bothered, really. Then when it was due to be renewed, we were pressed for time and I just kept my passport as is. Most countries see it’s me and it’s all good. But not in India, my friend.

"You are married to him?" the official asked.

I nod furiously.

"Then why do you not have MRS in your passport and wife of in your passport?" the official queried.

"It’s an American passport and in America I belong to no one but myself."

The official looks at me suspiciously. I caved and batted eyelashes because I know now how it can go if you don’t acquiesce. He let it go. Frankly, I am glad he let it go because my married name on the marriage certificate is not even close to the name on the passport. Go go USA in letting me change my name randomly through ceremonies or because I feel like it. :p

The official looked at me, waved his hand, asked for my phone number and said, "We will see you on Friday. We will call if there is anything wrong."

We went back today (Friday) and the man looked at me and remembered me! Handed me the papers and shooed me off like I was an unwanted fly….it was such an anticlimactic ending, to be honest. I left out the drama of how they were pissed that I hadn’t registered sooner. I was supposed to have been registered 7 days after arrival. Colin wrote a lovely note saying I was sorry and I was just lazy and I didn’t know. (rofl) The official looked at me and the look said, "Oh, ok. You seem repentant enough." He waived the 1,400 rupee fine. Come to find out later that if you’re sorry enough and don’t fight them on the fine, they will waive it. The less grief you give, the better.

I got the two pieces of paper that say it’s ok for me to live here in Gurgaon, but I can’t work and I can’t break the law. I should scan it all so you can see the hell I went through just for these two pieces of paper. You wouldn’t believe it.

To celebrate a day that could’ve taken 3+ hours that ended in a mere 15 minutes, we went to this restaurant called Barbeque Nation — it is fabulous!!! Check it out — www.barbeque-nation.com . No beef, though.

Anyway, after we had our celebratory late lunch, we got stuck in early Friday traffic. I am always badgering Colin to lock his door…

We’re at a stoplight and this beggar woman comes knocking on the window. I looked at her and shook my head. Normally that works well enough and they move on. This woman was particularly stubborn and started banging on the window, trying to open the car door. Luckily it was locked. Anyway, she kept smacking and banging on the window…and I know I’m going to rot in hell, but I took a picture. BAD ME

I know I’m going to hell already, so I should enjoy my journey, n’est-ce pas? This was taken with my camera phone…I know I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t resist. It’s everyday life for me. Normally they don’t bang on windows, but once you say no, they move on.

I think I have another case of Delhi poops (again) but it’s a bit milder this time…it’s my 3rd time and I didn’t have to take my medication, either. Maybe I’m getting used to things. Who knows? I was just relieved that I didn’t have to take the meds.


Day 40
Days 29-33

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