Wednesday, October 27, 2004

How to..

get out of paying a public transport infringement fine...

To get to the appeals office before it shut, I raced from one end of Paris to the other in a record-breaking time of 40 minutes armed with the dodgiest 'I can not speak French very well' accent I could pull off, in an optimistic attempt to talk my way out of paying a 50 euro public transport fine:
"I did not understand"
"it was the first monthly pass I ever bought"
"they did not tell me" *struggles slightly with verb conjugation for effect*

Context? I'd been caught late one night down ye olde subway system with a monthly pass that DID NOT CONFORM (I hadn't got around to attaching an oh-my-god what happened to my face? replica of myself - aka a passport photo - to my pass) . While I tried to explain my laissez-faire attitude to the ticket officer using a subtle mixture of half-truths, ignorance and argumentiveness, I could tell from the look of aggressive disdain and barely concealed resentment that she wasn't buying it. Actually the pass was a spare that had been given to me a week before (however, confessing that a pass has been given to you is tantamont to declaring high treason before the state, best to keep that information to ones self).

So I had the choice of paying 25 euros on the spot, or 50 before 2 months was up (if not, the fine just keeps increasing exponentially until you have a sum resembling the national yearly expenditure on baguettes). Having no money, and not inclined to hand over 25 euros to the conformist police even if I was more financially liberated, I went with the delayed payment and an 'I'm a slightly confused female' explanation plan to get me out of it (no, where 50 euros is concerned, I have no shame).

You'll be thrilled/dismayed/uninterested to learn that my crafty plan worked, which only goes to show that dishonesty pays off.

The moral to this story is that, at best, some stories have ambiguous morals.

No comments: