Friday, 3 August 2007

You got nothing on me cop… a tale of greek traffic madness (Part 2)

(There is no point in reading the following text if you haven't checked out Part 1 first! So be good sports and scroll down or click on the provided link to read Part 1 of this story. Oh, come on, you know you want to ha,ha,ha!!!)

The procedure to reclaim the number plates was quite simple, something unusual for the behemoth of bureaucracy that a greek citizen usually faces when dealing with the national public services. All we had to do was: A) Get the car to the designated KTEO control centre and be done with the malarchy of mechanically checking a car which has nothing wrong with it, B) Get the bloody KTEO certificate to the traffic control centre at Thermopylae (this is the area that you know as “Gates of Fire” where King Leonidas fought the Persian invaders in 480 BC . It is pretty close to where I live, like 15-20 mins or so by car. This place has been, for centuries now, a levelled area compared to the narrow passage among high rocks that it was in ancient times), C) Show it off cockily to some lazy ass cop in an office, pay the bloody fine and reclaim our damn licence plates back , regaining in the process ‘the driver’s dignity’ that was so savagely stripped from our bones.

As the tremendous master tactician that I am, I had formulated an appropriate battle plan...We were few against many but that never stopped the Greeks before... I guess if I took the Spartans' famous words in heart they would go something like these : "Either return back from the battle with your license plates or do not return at all". Who said the spirit of Thermopylae doesnt live on to future generations of Greeks:)

On with the show then… A day after we made the greek traffic regulatory system ‘tremble’ under the weight of our ‘serious offense’ , we went to the KTEO control centre to have our car checked and see if it was a car at its prime or a ‘late’ car mechanically speaking. According to the ‘by the book’ procedure, the personnel had to check a few hundred parameters of the car, e.g. performing some mechanical durability tests to the vehicle, meticulously observing the car seat and recording if it had a crater formed on it from our chunky drivers’ behinds (well not really, but you get the point some of those tests are pointless…). As with all things in Greece, a long story was cut short and the mechanics checked around 10 essential aspects of the car instead of hundreds meaningless ones(I guess having this check up in a private KTEO centre was a wise choice after all, compared to the madness of the public KTEO centres where it is more of a case of "survival of the fittest wallet" if you catch my drift...).

Public KTEO mechanic:
"I can see what the problem is now, pass me that 50 Euros bill... ahem... I mean that wrench and let's proceed to checking the car properly using the process of elimination. Whatever part doesnt fit we throw it away... or you can just write me a bank check instead..."

After the car had passed the tests with flying colours, the mechanics proceeded to give us a pat on the back and to stuff a KTEO certificate up our asses saying that ‘all is good with this car, don’t bother these gentlemen for the next couple of years, not unless you got some death wish or the public vaults are empty and you got to fine someone to compensate for your uncontrollable waste of public money as a government (it didn’t say that but it bloody hell could have, lol). Putting the certificate as a flag of honour on the inside surface of the windshield , we drove to the traffic control centre where some much needed mortal combat was in order.

Despite the small triumph over the technical control hurdle, I couldnt help but have this sinking feeling crawling inside me. More hardship and tears were certain to follow, when dealing with an alien species even DP is afraid of... public servants:)

As soon as we reached this lair of enforced political correctness, we witnessed the usual spectacle of public servants in uniform, constantly scratching their balls in order to make time pass by (or create sparks to make fire who knows...heh) and finish another ‘tiring day at the job’. Amused at this display of fine public service, we found the guy responsible for returning us the license plates of the car. As soon as we provided the appropriate documentation, we made the simple request to him to screw the retrieved license plates back on the car. Apparently, either his hearing ability or his deductive logic left a lot to be desired since he reacted as if we had asked him to diffuse a ticking bomb in a matter of seconds. What? You don’t believe me...? Well, judging from his apathetic reply you bloody hell should! The guy said “Here at the greek traffic service, we don’t screw license plates back on, we just unscrew them!”. Best case scenario was that this clockwise and anticlockwise screwing and unscrewing motion was a great mystery to him and he didn’t want to burn any brain cells trying to figure it out… Worst case scenario is he was just a lazy bum in a uniform (I am sure you know by now which version I am rooting for…LOL).

I was looking for sources of inspiration on how to "make a point" to this loser that was turning a blind eye to my requests. Then I remembered Mortal Kombat and it all became clear to me:) Shortly after the license plates were mine again muhahahaha!

With license plates in hand, we marched outside this place where time had stopped along with the brains of the people working there. Me and my dad went to the car and were ready to make our escape from this lair of public apathy in a blaze of glory… The only problem being that the street signs in the path leading to the major national highway were all either invisible to the human eye or just fucked up. A "U-turn" in the national highway, right in front of the traffic control centre was as death defying as rewatching Jar Jar Binks talking in the first Star Wars movie and living to tell the tale (which is impossible by the way...) . Therefore we opted to make our way using the hieroglyphics written on the few signs we encountered. As we were following this route of no return, the only intelligent life form we encountered was a cop taking a leak in some bushes (Come to think of it I should have asked the bushes for directions… since the guy was busy enjoying one of the simple pleasures in human existence and I didn’t want to ruin this defining moment of his life… ha,ha,ha,ha).

When a man has to go, he has to go! Oh, the simple joys in life, that cop was one happy trooper and I didnt want to ruin his moment... This one is a beautiful video by the way but what it represents in my wacky mind isn't:)

As we continued our quest for the highway road, the asphalt on the street gave place to some really pointy and sharp white rocks (great place to shoot Indiana Jones 4, I am sure, but no place to drive a car, not unless you get some inexplicable kick out of replacing flat tyres…). With every passing moment the car was vibrating even harder from the ever less hospitable surface of the rocky road we were browsing through.As all hope seemed lost, I started imagining pictures of me and my dad on the frontpages of newspapers with the MIA(Missing In Action) tag underneath… Suddenly, amongst the gloominess of this ominous vision of things to come, I saw something flashing at the distance… For a moment I thought it was Optimus Prime in his day job, blame the heat for this insane assumption. Then I realised it was a truck that was carrying various materials in some construction site of sorts. If there ever was a sign of ‘divine intervention’ in this little ordeal, this was it!!!

Could it possibly be true... we had recovered our license plates and escaped from the grasps of traffic warden madness all in one piece! Oh beautiful white light how much I have missed you, oh the fun we shall have together... just lead the way:)

A moment later, one of the workers at the site gave us directions on how to get to the main highway in one piece. As we entered the main road once again, heading home, we started laughing with my dad at the absurdity of it all. We had beaten the system once again and we would enjoy this little victory for the rest of the day… After all, you can never be too sure, in this country, if you will survive your next encounter with any of the tentacles of the public service monster , lol!

I hope you enjoyed this chunk of humourous take on a real life event, as much as I enjoyed writing it….

Till next time…

P.S. I'll be away for the next 10 days, maybe a bit more... Nothing too fancy, not even far from here actually, but truth be told for me it is just perfect:) Staying away from the PC and recharging my 'proverbial batteries' will be just what I need. Take care all!


someGirl said...

Damn those public servants!! Thanks for all the support during my week of hell...Hope you enjoy your know you'll be dying to come back to us all. Thats the nature of the blogging beast.

joen05 said...

Very nice post! I love the way you use videos and pictures on your site. I'm going to link to yours on mine!

Deadpoolite said...


Damn them, damn them to hell I say:)

Yep, you are right, not teasing you for the next 10 days or so is going to take a lot of willpower to accomplish:)

It is a sacrifice I am willing to make though, albeit with a "bleeding" heart (oh I am such a sucker for heartfelt goodbyes and all,lol)

Talk to ya soon!


Another fine blogger converted to the realm of unforced laughter then (that will be my blog by the way ,heh). Glad you liked it around these parts and be sure I am returning the favour:) You are now an official member of the "known blogging accomplices" list (that will be "my links" then , lol)!

I'll be off from my blogging headquarters starting Monday for 10 days or so...Therefore we will "bloggeract" (just made that up, damn I am good and modest as well...ha,ha,ha) more when I get back:)

Nice meeting you and hope you stick around, take care!

Zhu said...

Public servant, scratching their balls or not, are public servants. They can't be expected to be efficient. Trust me. I work with them all day.

I remember when I went to Athens (long long time ago...) I liked the city but though it was total chaos. So if on top of that, your car doesn't have a KTEO... well, there's no point in living.

Voulez-vous un autre croissant, monsieur ?

Hope you have fun wherever you're going. I know you can't tell us our location because of your top-secret job. We'll wait til you return, :$

Deadpoolite said...


I dont hold anything against civil servants in general, but so many times before when I was faced with the bureaucracy monster of sorts I would end up meeting someone that would be a jackass and would test my patience after a tiring day:)

I assure you that the armed assault conviction was purely circumstantial:) (and yes that was a joke ha,ha,ha)

In Greece generations of greeks were raised with the dream of getting into the public sector because people working on it take their money day in day out for years:) Compared to the population of Greece (around 11,000,000 heroic citizens, lol) the size of the public sector in this country is ridiculously big:) Just a couple of facts.

In future posts I'll be probably showing off some good sides of Greece as well but let's face it the bad things have more joke potential ha,ha,ha.

Regardless this is a beautiful country and it would be cool to showcase some aspect of that as well at some point...

Anyway, I am off on Monday so I may actually post something till then.

If not, take care of yourself and enjoy life. When I get back, there will be "a call to blogging arms" and I expect you to be my second in command right there next to me in the frontline:)

Bye for now Zhu!

Calista said...

Yes, I like it. I just finished reading, that was actually first thing in the morning (good start) right after usual routine (bathroom, prayer, some moving, watering basil).
I have had many lol moments.

DP adventure

Public Service: 26. They are here to serve, we have power to make them to do better.
Notable public s. guy: 83. Deserves to be quoted; “We don’t screw license plates back on, we just unscrew them!”. (I have to remember that!)
DP: 150
Dad: 150

Public Service: NO bonus
Notable public s. guy: He has potential to be a good guy; father of 4 and a good neghbour. Because of famous line - 16.
DP: DP is a hero of Laughing Den. By default, he is a main character and is unbeatable, his bonus - 100.
Dad: The Sage. Welcomed in every game/adventure/real life. Since he raised DP well, Dad deserves nothing less then 101.

Public Service: 26
Notable public s. guy: 99
DP: 250
Dad: 251

Dad and DP would never accomplish their mission without each other. They had unique goal and their unique score: 501

=======DAD & DP=======


Deadpoolite said...

Yep, we are a good team like that:)

Thanks for the comment Calista!

Calista said...

I mean


lost one N

Calista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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