Gun licences renewed

9 10 2011

“How may I help you?” the large and colourfully dressed lady behind the counter said without the usual “How are you?” pre-amble that is de rigueur in this part of the world.

“I have come to renew my gun licences” I replied, turning on the charm to her apparent lack thereof. “Should I have brought a finger-print form? It’s been a while since I have been here”.

“Have you been here before?” she replied.

“Yes, I renewed here last time.”

“No, just fill this in” and she slid a blue form over the counter to me and returned to her desk after waving me back to the bench where I’d been waiting.

I was in the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) at the Morris Depot Police Camp to get my gun licences renewed. They have to be renewed every 3 years in Zimbabwe and last time I’d forgotten all about it and had to go through quite a process, including a nominal fine, to get the licences. I had honestly forgotten whether I needed to have finger prints taken and was rather resigned to a long wait; time was when it took 6 weeks to process the forms. So I duly completed the form and handed back to the lady with the soon to expire licences.

“That will be $15” she said.

“I suppose it is not much good to ask for change”  I enquired with a smile. Silence. “Umm, can I give you $20?”.

“Yes, if you don’t mind not getting the $5 back” came the reply. I certainly was not winning this one so I dug around in my wallet and found the exact money.

I waited on the bench and contemplated the same posters from three years ago with the same spelling mistakes: “Ciggaretes are allowed in this office but may not be smoked”. “Oh well, this could take a while” I thought.

10 minutes passed and the large colourfully dressed lady got up from her desk and passed me the new licences. I’d heard that the process had got simpler but this was amazing!

“Thank you!” I beamed at her (maybe, just maybe she had a sense of humour hidden somewhere – I was not prepared to give up just yet).

“I will see you in three years time” she remarked.

“If we are still here” I quipped.

“Oh yes we will still be here!” she said with a ghost of a smile and added a folded application form to the newly completed licences.



One response

15 01 2012

Just like her sense of humour

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