The Case of Good Conduct

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Never before had I had to visit a Police Station for matters other than a traffic accident. However, when I received a certain email this morning, I had to put on my best clothes, tie my hair back in a tight ponytail and cover my face with oversizzed sunglasses and a wide brim hat. The Case was a simple one and quick one too. It took me 3 hours.

At 6:10, the ‘Traffic Report’ desk clerk looked at me with a sorry smile and said, “he will be back soon. He has gone to Bray”. At around 7:15 the Officer-in-Charge walks in, shakes hands with all the other 7 Police Officers in the room, takes his seat, sips sulemani chai, runs a hand over his face to wipe the perspiration that the air conditioning missed. Two swift clicks and #54536 is announced on the large screen in front of me. I look left, I look right. No one in the waiting room. Perfect! I walk over to the counter, hand over my waiting ticket # 54536, slide AED 110, my passport, a copy of my passport, Emirates ID Card and a form that I had been asked to fill in Arabic. I filled it in English. The Officer looked down at the form and up at me and said, “No Arabi? Mafi. Go typist, type Arabi and come back.” I flipped the form over, where I had already gotten it typed in Arabic, as the form had two sides. One English. One Arabic. We exchanged looks. The money vanished into a drawer. He opened my passport and verified the photo. My face was expressionless, just like the passport photograph. Two more swift clicks and I was handed over a receipt and a copy of my fingerprints. A black ink pad appeared. I was asked to press my left thumb on it and transfer the impression on another paper. Prints were match. Perfect!  He nodded his head. I nodded my head. Turned my heel and left.

Hopefully I should never have to obtain a Good Conduct Certificate from Dubai Police ever again. Not that the process is time consuming, but because I had to wait for 3 hours for a job which in reality only took 3 minutes!

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