DTI. That reminds me a little of Cuba, where an authority was called DIT. Of course, the DTI has nothing to do with the Cuban secret police other than using the same letters. Despite the different order, I have negative associations with it. Also, I don't like taking a car for a general inspection that, in my opinion, doesn't deserve the badge. So that would not get the badge in Germany. After all, that's my benchmark for “earned”. Aruba and Germany are two different things, I prepare the car for inspection according to local standards. The seller said that I only had to convert the headlights (from xenon to halogen, xenon is not allowed in Aruba). In addition, new protective covers must be put on the seats.
Edward helps me convert the headlights. He's happy that I'm giving him the xenon stuff. I'm happy that I don't have to get my fingers dirty. Soraida made an appointment for me at 8 a.m. first thing in the morning when the DTI people start their work.
I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. While I am making the coffee, I notice that it is a completely alien time to me. The light is unusual, the sun has not yet made it over the Hooiberg. The first pot of freshly ground coffee practically drinks itself, I divide a second pot between myself and the Togo mug. Then I'm ready and drive the carriage to the TDI. No, DTI, the other one is a Volkswagen.
I have to walk around the outside of the building to get to the open-air office, where the papers are handed in and the car registered. So far so good. The papers are perfectly fine, I would not have expected anything else from Soraida. She's a professional after all. Then I can drive the car to the door with the number 3. Since my Papiamento is not quite enough for the conversation, I get the instructions in English words as explained for toddlers. It is 7:55 a.m.
Then I can walk around the outside of the building and wait. There is only one place in Aruba that does the main inspections. Another waiting person, who is employed by the local water company in his overalls, is also waiting hard and gossiping about the state employees, who are not in a particularly hurry with their work. It looks like they're going to take their breakfast break right after starting work. Next to us is a woman who seems very impatient. We all have our appointment at 8 a.m., the clock now shows 8:15 a.m.
At 8:25 a.m. it becomes too colorful for the impatient woman. She goes to the open-air office and complains about the waiting time. The waterworker next to me laughs and says he would only do it with a brand new car. His old car would never pass the inspection if he complained. However, the woman seems to have done everything right, the inspection of her car begins immediately. Then an employee runs to my car and that of the waterworker. First, the vehicles are disinfected.
Let's come to the shortcomings. In addition to the rather worn brake discs, the tires are too bad in my opinion. Two of the four tires practically no longer have any tread. In addition, all four tires are different - different ages, different manufacturers and in general. The car will not go straight when the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position. In general, it pulls a little to the right when driving. The streets were poorly lit with the xenon headlights, and with the halogen headlights I can't see at night either. The illuminated area is also not what I know from Germany. The seat belts on the rear seats are well hidden behind the backrest, the seat belt buckles no longer exist. The warning triangle, reflective vest and first-aid kit are of course not in the car either. So far so good. Edward already signaled to me that I had found a very good car. He has a lot of experience tinkering with junk-ready vehicles and can tell junk from a great vehicle.
After checking the brakes and lights, the examiner takes a cool swerve around the pit, parks the car on my side of the building, and tells me the car passed. I am happy and will send Soraida a message right away. Then the papers still have to be changed, they are still in the name of the previous owner - now they are in Soraida's name. The car is now completely legal. Or as Edward says, it's more legal than me to go.
It should also be noted that, as expected, the waterworker's car did not receive a badge because the seat belt on the driver's side is jammed. He now has 30 days to release the seat belt and demonstrate the car again. He is satisfied with that. He was also right in his assessment of the situation. The impatient woman noticed a list of flaws and drove away quite angry. Apparently the complaint was resented.
A passed general inspection is no reason that the speedometer might not fail immediately. On the way back to Sissi the time had come. Never mind, the sticker sticks and doesn't know anything about the speedometer. Now I'm waiting for the man who is supposed to fix our rig. He wants to come by today, but has not given the time. Completely normal in Aruba. I still can't really get used to it.