Remember the dear old Jin Bei? Our beloved nasty Asian minivan?
Well, she got jacked.
Last week Irene and Robbie were driving her around in the "nice suburb" of Petionville, running some errands. They came out of a store, and the van was gone.
They called Ben. Ben did what Ben always does... jumps into Jack Bauer mode. He leaps off the couch, abandoning our baking dinner, and is out the door before you can say, "Dammit, Chloe, there's no time!" He barrels up toward Petionville in another car and then sits down in a local restaurant (Sean Penn's favorite chicken place, to be exact) to strategize.
They called our school director, who suggested that the car might have been towed. Apparently there are parking laws in Petionville (ha), and apparently they are enforced (if you are blan).
Ben, Robbie, and Irene talked through actual possible scenarios that could occur if they went to the local Haitian police station to report the theft and/or check if the car was towed:
- What if they ask for a bribe?
- What if they try to detain one of us?
- What if something terrible happened, like the Jin Bei's brakes failed and it rolled down the mountain, crashing into a person or business?!?
This whole endeavor is hilarious and telling and yet absolutely normal here to me. Oh, Haiti.
In the end, Irene's Kreyol was good enough to discover that the car had, in fact, been towed, despite the fact that there were no posted parking law signs and that there were a dozen other cars parked in identical fashion on the same street. Also, despite the fact that the car had only been towed less than one hour before, the police refused to release it because the person who handles that had gone home for the day. C'est la vie.
Thankfully, Ben did not have to implement his plan of dashing down blacktop roads, swerving around marchan ladies, and making a flying leap into a moving getaway vehicle. Whew. Close one.