International parking tickets in Washington D.C. and New York

Freakonomics has an interesting article on pending parking tickets for a number of embassies in Washington D.C. and New York.

In 2003, the state department issued dire warnings to embassies in New York and D.C. threatening to withhold foreign assistance if parking tickets were not paid.  So far though, it seems no foreign assistance has been withheld.

Here’s D.C.’s top offenders:

Russia – $27,200
Yemen – $24,600
Cameroon – $19,520
France – $19,520
Mauritania – $8,070

The Holy See, it’s worth noting, has only one outstanding ticket for $25.

In New York, the list of top offenders is a different set:

Egypt – $1,929,142
Kuwait – $1,266,901
Nigeria – $1,019,998
Indonesia – $692,200
Brazil – $608,733

So what do these countries have in common?  Oil wealth? Moxie? In 2006, Forbes Magazine hypothesized that it was the level of a country’s corruption (according to the Corruption Perception Index) that predicted the level of parking ticket delinquency, along with a country’s level of anti-American sentiment.

Surprise can win you a lot of battles

The other time I was issued a fine that I didn’t consider fair. So I wasn’t going to pay it. The thing is, if you don’t pay your fine within the two weeks or so, it goes to court, and than you can either pay more in court or debate the fine. I wasn’t going to turn it into any serious case or anything like that, but I was hoping to debate it and get out of it.

Surprise, they say, can win you a lot of battles. When people are confronted with circumstances there weren’t prepared for, they are easy to manipulate. Especially, if they had a plan that couldn’t be applied anymore to the different circumstances.

That’s what happened to me. Since I was fined way too long ago, I was waiting for a notice from court. Instead I got a phone call. It was from Germasoia police station. The guy in the most polite and kind way reminded that I have a fine due. He said that it was only 15 CYP and that I should pass by and pay it.

I don’t know what got into me, but he was so nice that I didn’t even think twice before picking up my wallet and driving all the way to Germasoia. I paid it and actually felt good about. About two hours later I realized that it was the surprise that caught me offguard…

Hit and run

I was sitting at home, watching movies and minding my own business, when Martin called me and told that I should come out. I wasn’t in the mood, I was in the middle of the film, and it was too hot outside, so I said no. But he insisted. His argument was very convincing – someone hit my car.

Continue reading “Hit and run”