As things have started brightening up a bit in life, I was challenged yesterday with a police experience. Travelling with joy and happiness to see some friends for Sunday lunch, Ivan (my partner) and I were pulled over by the police to have the car papers checked. As they take their job very seriously, they realized that that my car inspection had been overdue by two weeks.
Yes, I must admit that had been aware of it, but due to some issues, we had constantly postponed the drive to hectic, noisy Cusco. I had finally decided to book an appointment for this Wednesday afternoon. But that would be too late.
I´d like to mention, that my German blood is definitely expressed in being a responsible and honest person, not joking around with official issues. - But there we were, facing the police, who of course pointed our failure out very critically.
Trying to save the situation, Ivan tried his best to explain the situation and to find a solution, but we are in Peru, another corrupt South American country like Bolivia. To let us “go” they wanted us to pay 1000 Soles (300 Dollars!!!!) straight into their pocket. Paying a police man on the road is unfortunately a usual habit here, if you are trying to avoid facing charges or official difficulties.
Obviously not being prepared to pay this horrendous amount, we decided to be taken to the police station to take the official way and not putting that much money into someone´s pocket. – The result of our honesty? A fine of 2000 Soles (600 Dollars!!!!) and the car being taken away from us until we have paid the fine. Every day that the car will sit in the police station will cost another 6 Dollars. No, it is not the end, because when I went today to try to pay, not only that no cash point in town is working, but also am I being told, that this fine is outdated, the new fine would be 40 Dollars more still.
So, what lessons do I learn apart from not taking any risks when you know, you are a “gringa” (not a very nice word regularly used towards foreigners) in a foreign corrupt country?
I learned that I need to not overhear the many hints of my intuition, which kept popping up, reminding me that I needed to overcome my physical obstacles and to go to Cusco.
Everything has two sides (in our dual world): I could have paid the 1000 Soles. It would have made a big financial (currently very important) difference, but I am supporting something, that I am SO against and tired of: the corruptness and falseness of governments, officials etc.
Furthermore, and that is the bigger lesson: Everything depends on our perception. Of course I was devastated, angry and sad, but when I calmed down, I heard a little voice telling me “What, if this incident has prevented a much bigger and devastating one?” I have often heard this voice. Listening to it, trusting it, brought back the inner calmness, centeredness and peace. I will never know, what would have happened if the police had not caught us. But I know, that this change of looking at the incident, changed my wellbeing. And isn´t that most important?
Of course in moments like this one it is not easy, but I have complete faith that we are divinely supported and protected by the universe and that all will be good, that every happening is another step on my divine learning path.