Tuesday, 7 May 2013
After less than comfortable night, I got up early, packed my stuff as neatly as possible and hung around, feeling grumpy for no reason (some theorists say that one can always find a reason to feel grumpy but I'm of a pessimist disposition so I do not need to go reason hunting, for me, life sucks all the time unless specified otherwise). Then I learned that several people were robbed. I sometimes feel like the last just and reasonable person and having had a few unlucky experiences in my life, I insisted that the afflicted individuals go to the police. Nobody listened. El Mínimo Líder decided that we're a botanical expedition, we go plant-hunting, we have no time to lose with minutiae, generously ignoring popular whine. At the end, he decided that we'll talk to the campsite manager, let's wait when she comes to work. I mildly protested, saying that even if the campsite wanted to deal with it for one reason or another, which is unlikely, they need to have a police protocol for reasons of insurance or whatever else and that it would be advisable, regarding the time constriction, to go to the police straight away. We hung around for a while, the manager came, said Go to the gendarmerie and that was it. I offered myself to go along, having dealt with a few less than user-friendly institutions (I briefly remembered how I yelled at an officer who told me that I had been my stupidity to get robbed that while stupidity is what it is, it's not a criminal offence and none of his business, while theft is, so could he please proceed and do his job NOW, thankyouverymuch). I had also rediscovered my ability to speak French, not good French but workable one. At the gendarmerie, we got some photocopied forms to be filled in, or, to be exact, “you can fill this in outside or elsewhere, you don't need to be here, full stop”, with a photocopied stamp. Nobody at the station spoke decent English or any other language than French so it was somewhat difficult. After three rounds of explaining that for purposes of insurance and stuff, we need an original stamp, we were repeatedly told that On le fait comme-ça en France. I and Minister went to ask to the Police Nationale whether this is indeed how things are done in France. Minister called his friends in politics and diplomacy, El Mínimo Líder called the embassy with the same question and indeed, things were confirmed to be done this way in France. Meantime, we filled in our papers and went back to the Gendarmerie to see what happens. The gal, erm, officer, signed them and that was it. I'll ask the afflicted persons how it went with their insurance companies and authorities, as some IDs were stolen, too. It seems that there's a lot of petty crime going on and that nobody cares. I'd imagine that this is how things work in, say, Romania. I never dealt with Romanian police and I fully intend not to but one hears stories. One also hears stories that France is actually civilized. Oh well.