Around the World a Bit at a Time

Travels: Past, Present and Future

Posts Tagged ‘policia’

La Policia

Posted by Leanne on November 13, 2010

I spent the morning wandering around the lake, soaking up the sun for the very last time (there was little chance that an English winter would allow me to see any sun) and stopping to chat to anyone who happened to strike up a conversation.  Which, of course, in Peru is anyone who you pass by.

It wasn’t until I sat down to lunch at a pool-side bar that I noticed my ipod was missing.  And I was sure I hadn’t lost it, because the protective cover was still in my bag, and as I repeated several times to the police officer who came to meet me at the hotel, ‘no es possible perder el ipod sin este cubrir.’  Though he still made me check my room and bags a few times before he sat down to write a hand-written statement.

The hotel were keen to make sure I knew that their rooms were secure.  It didn’t matter how many times I repeated that I knew that, and that I just needed a police statement so I could claim the money back on my insurance, they still seemed concerned that I was blaming them.

After my policeman scribbled out his statement on an A4 piece of paper, one of the hotel staff drove us down to Ica police station where they left me with a man behind a computer whose job it was to type up the statement.  I answered the same questions over again as he read the statement to ensure that he understood. and then he invited me round to the other side of the desk to watch him type.  Pointing to the  Messenger programme that was open on his screen, he asked me if I had a contact name on there.  I replied in the negative and so he did a search to find the ipod that I’d lost on the internet.  “Nice!” he said in Spanish.  “Yes.  It was,” I replied.

As he typed out the statement, he occasionally paused to chat to one of his messenger contacts, or close the screen, or to ask me questions about where I was from and if I had a boyfriend, and I smiled inwardly to myself that, even at the police station, as I reported a crime, I was still getting chatted up.

After about 20 minutes, he finished typing, printed out document and brought it back over to the desk.  At the bottom were two spaces for signatures – he signed them both with different signatures, stamped the piece of paper with the official stamp and sent me on my way.

I got a taxi back to Huacachina just in time to catch the end of the sandboarding competition which was happening on one of the towering dunes surrounding the resort, and spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on a bench, watching the world go by and waiting to go home.

Peruvian 'Morris Dancers'

Like Morris Dancers, only Peruvian. And better

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world and for how long, the last day always seems to consist of some waiting around to go home.  It always feels like a bit of a waste, but perhaps it’s an essential part of the process to mentally prepare yourself to slide back into your own culture, where the weather, the people and the customs are so different.  And where you have to look for a job.

I headed to the bus station early, and the bus back to Lima arrived late meaning more wasted time, just hanging around waiting to go home.

At about midnight I arrived in Lima and got straight in a taxi to the airport, where I spent another few hours hanging around, waiting for time to check in, waiting for boarding time, waiting for the plane to take off.  It was likely that, if I hadn’t spent a couple of hours in the police station that afternoon, I would have wasted the whole day, but as it happened, I added a new and interesting experience to my trip and ended my journey, if not on a high, with an interesting story to tell, and would finally get something back from all these travel insurance premiums that I’ve paid over the years.

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