I got some disappointing news the other day. I owe the government $4356 worth in speeding fines! That is 21 speeding fines to be exact. Now I know what you’re thinking, holy girl slowwww down!  But I honestly didn’t think I was speeding. If you saw how some people drove here you would think I was a saint on the road.

Now for most people this would be devastating. For me it is extra devastating because the whole reason I am living in this desert town, far from home, away from my ocean love, is to pay off my student debt so I can move onto the life I really want to live. Living near a beach, nearer to home, teaching and surfing.

So after three days of financially induced depression I decided that I would not take this one laying down. I marched into the police station, shoulders back, head held high, ready for a fight. I got my ticket marked ‘lady’ and proceeded to sit in the ‘ladies only’ section of the waiting area. My heart was pounding. My mind was going over what I would say and how I would say it.  When my number was called I jumped up and sat down, seemingly calm, and explained my situation to the women. The whole time the ladies were just shaking there heads and saying sorry nothing we can do. So what did I do? I cried. I sobbed. While I cried the ladies just looked at each other shrugging their shoulders. Then a man in a police uniform came over to find out why I was crying. I explained that I was unable to pay for this fine and that I would rather spend the night in jail. He laughed but I was serious. He said something in Arabic to the ladies and then told me to come with him. He said for me to please stop crying and that he would help me. He took me to where the judge was. He told me to explain my situation to to the judge and the judge would reduce my fine. The Judge could not see me that day but I was told to come back on Sunday (which is a work day here). So I thanked the kind man for helping me. He asked me about Canada and gave me his number incase I ever needed help. Then I left.

I returned on Sunday and after 2.5 hours of talking to several different officials and only crying a little bit, my case was submitted. Now I just had to wait for a phone call telling me what day I could come back to see the judge.

A week later was my court date. I was greeted by the man that helped me the previous week. He brought me to the judge who patiently heard my case. After our deliberation and a few shed tears my fine was reduced. Still a lot of money, but so much better.

Lessons learned:

1) Slow down, there are speed cameras everywhere!

2) Crying works on men but not women (this I believe is universal).

3) The police and officials are really not that scary here. Very kind and helpful actually.






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