Sunday, March 11, 2007

One Hundred Rupees

It was a casual Sunday afternoon drive, all of our bellies full from the 'onslaught' of the Mariott buffet. The tradition we have installed into the grind of the work week is gluttonous and delightful, and with all of the things that happen in work, school and life all week I think the Sunday Brunch is well deserved to both kids and parents alike.

I gave a name to Sunday's feast - the Mariott Brunch Social Club in Chennai. Each week we find another family who discovered this gem of a buffett, and while the parents chat the kids can run free - a winner for all. It's great.

Back to the drive, the basis of this post. I always like to take a little different way everywhere I drive in Chennai, it lets me either get lost and see something I haven't yet or it lets me confirm in my head that I know my way around.

I took a new street, came to a questionable intersection, turned left. Left was not right. Left was the wrong way on a one way street. Brandy knew it right away, but I just went with it as I had already committed to the turn.

Got to a light, and tried to go right (not happening) and then tried to go left to get out of there.

As I fumbled with the turn signal I saw a traffic cop waving (see older post for explaination on 'waving') and I made a few deliberate hand gestures back. I knew Brandy was right since no cars were piling up behind me.

Pulled over, window down, traffic cop arrives and says 'no entry. 100 rupees fine. No entry.'

I looked behind us and made sense of it, it was a one way street. 'Ok, ok, ok. No entry. What about 2 wheelers? I only followed a 2 wheeler.'

'Where are you going sir?'

'That way' (pointing right, towards home).

'No, no entry. 100 rupees fine.'

I reach into my pocket and pull out a 100 rupee note, and try to hand it to him. He refuses to take it, and waves me up the street a little.

He walks over to the left (passenger) side of the car and repeats '100 rupee fine. No entry'.

Again, I give the 100 bucks to B in the passenger seat and she tries to hand it to him which he refuses. 'Where are you going?' he repeats.

I point and explain, and he happily tells me the exact route to get there. No money, no fine, no license, no problem.

As we drive away I felt somewhat confused. Why wouldn't he take the money? Even if he just thought I was a dumb tourist, he told me the fine and then refused payment!

Still love it here.


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