(continued from part I)
After the mafia style meeting in the back seat of the inspector’s car, his assistant took me up to the see big man; the RTO. Again, we walked straight into his office. The RTO was a middle aged policeman with a receding hairline and a large bhindi. He started looking over my copies, cross checking them with the originals. Then I had my written test. The RTO officer pointed at the no passing sign that I had memorized two minutes before.
What’s this (he pointed to a no parking sign)
He seemed satisfied with my obviously vast knowledge of Indian road sign trivia. He was obviously omniscient as a few years ago it took the LandKreis (county) office a three hour exam before deciding I knew enough German road sign trivia.
So far, so good…
He may not have cared about whether or not I actually knew how to drive, but he had his own issues. Again we went through the license endorsement discussion as he examined both of my licenses. Then came the best part. I needed a letter from SAP Labs stating that I am employed by them. WTF? Since when does my employment status have anything to do with my ability to operate a motor vehicle? (Especially since the FRO office was obviously okay with my living in India) I pointed to my visa and explained that I had an X (dependent family member) visa. My affiliation was with SAP in Germany and it was my wife who was at SAP labs. No problem… I would need a photocopy of her contract, company ID card and a letter from her stating that I was her husband.
I do need to demonstrate that my wife is gainfully employed. I do not need to demonstrate that I actually know how to drive. That is something to keep in mind while on the road here.
Oh and since I’m a foreigner, instead of 3000 rupees, it will be 6000. What happened to 1200? I guess somewhere in that I’m paying (A) for being a foreigner, (B) for the obviously preferential treatment that I got and (C) because somebody is paying down a new mototcycle.