Wednesday 24 June 2009

Hong Kong CID

I'm hoping you might learn that any expectations of high standards from dealing with the Hong Kong Constabulary or the sneaker wearing, high fiving Plain clothes Criminal Investigations Department (apart from two individuals who were cool) will only disappoint you if my experiences are typical.

Last Friday night I caught a taxi with all the important stuff in a suitcase. Usually things like mobile phones, wallets, computers, passports and so forth are separate but in this instance they were packed in various suitcase pockets for reasons such as picking up my laundry on the way. Unfortunately for me the Taxi driver I caught would not listen to my instructions such as "stay here please" and on each successive occasion ignored me until I concluded he was being uncooperative.

I wanted Hong Kong police to deal with him and not me. I said to myself if the police feel I'm being unreasonable I'll pay the fare and accept their judgement. An hour lost is a small price to pay for not getting into an altercation over a fare with a cabbie. (I have to say all of them on Hong Kong apart from the bad person I got have been brilliant and helpful)

Once I finally conveyed to the driver there was no hotel we were going to and I wasn't putting up with feigned stupidity (I was visiting a friend) he took me to the Police Station and I leaped out, pleading with the desk officer to come out and talk to the taxi driver. The desk officer wanted to ask me questions that were beyond irrelevancy and so the taxi driver drove off without payment, and with my suitcase. Fortunately I noted the last four digits of the number plate.

The Police said to me "Don't worry, we will try to return your belongings". While being interviewed by CID I realised that only one officer present grasped I was a victim and that it wasn't a case of an absent minded taxi driving off.

I hadn't paid my fare. Sheer procrastination on the Police's part had led to an even worse scenario.

I'm a resilient character and loss of property doesn't grieve me as much as it does others. Read this to see why. I could howl about the Chanel shades, my Macbook Air the large amount of cash, and the like, but the truth is, some of you have left comments here that have delighted me more than any atoms ever could. Even the emails I'm getting now from the few who know, have been brilliant, including one pal I've only met once in Beijing, who comes from Hong Kong and offered to lend me money, while we laughed about how it was karma for writing my luxury posts including all the luxury shopping which is now stolen. We laugh at the trivial. We value each other. Long may you prosper.

I'm lucky that I still have enough money to do with my life as I wish, but without my wallet and cards; I had 18 HK Dollars in my pocket (1.6 Euros) and the EMERGENCY number for the British Embassy they gave me was a recorded message giving the office hours.

To convey the Kafkaesque nature of the Peter Sellers team let me give you a taster of the conversation I had around 11 PM in the evening while I weighed up my options.

Me: "The Consulate number isn't working. What time is the last ferry please" (thinking I might walk to Central about 40 minutes away and beg for two dollars to make it across the water.

Desk Sergeant (Calls a number) "There's no one answering, have you tried the Consulate?"

So I slept in the waiting room on those ridged seats in viciously cold air conditioning and shorts while drunken and needlessly loud voices pressed charges or had charges pressed against them through the night in what I can only describe as a scene reminiscent of those god awful passages from the Clergy Man's daughter by George Orwell. I shuddered reading it and I shuddered as I awoke each time in the night.

Anyway a week later and basically the British Consulate don't want to know. I'm living off the good will of people I don't really know, while a good friend recuperates from a back operation and I've been calling CID to find out if they've even apprehended the taxi driver of the number plate I gave. I've no money, no Passport, no FAGS, few clothes, no mobile and no computer.

I'm an ILLEGAL alien, with no way of getting my money, and the only people who want to help are my social media gang, most of whom I've not even met.

It's unbelievable, and Hong Kong CID have just put the phone down on me when I asked for the second time today on progress, and how to give them a few more clues like the very memorable T Shirts I have, one of which I wore in San Francisco here and which might be lying around somewhere in the culprits apartment. I don't think they've even followed up what happened last week and now I want to make an official complaint about the police. Probably I'm wasting my time there too.

Hong Kong CID. Is the C for clueless? You suck and you know it. You just don't care. You should have been knocking on the culprits door within 24 hours because by now if he's got any sense he would have SOLD everything I own not on the grounds of GREED but on the grounds of LOGIC.

I hold the police responsible for dawdling at the front desk, dawdling on the investigation and now dawdling and dissembling with EVERY phone call I've made. They just don't care if they've done anything at all. So all I can say to you folks is one thing.

I really like Hong Kong but .......... I've never meet a more feeble, lethargic and unresponsive Cop outfit towards a guest (and I think high spending visitor) as the one I have encountered, and that it's better to take the law into your own hands than report it.

If I'd have done that; I wouldn't be writing this post now and thinking about how I'm going to get a passport and some cash to get back on with my life which means India is definitely off the cards (so sorry about that folks -I'm really sorry)

I'd appreciate any of my readers thoughts on this because right now I'm jumping through hoops with a British Consulate that wont even issue me with a Passport that I need in order to regain my life via banking and so forth, and a Hong Kong CID that wont answer my questions about progress nearly a week later.

Apparently the Consulate says I'm good for 50 quid which wont even cover the cost of a passport or even doing a photo run to apply for one. I'm afraid my winning smile isn't working very much at the moment. But you know what. I still said a little prayer to God and thanked him for all the good stuff I've been given in life because there's been loads and loads of it. Look at that Green revolution kicking off on Twitter logos.