Remember the time I drove in Melbourne to see the overrated Great Ocean Road

As bad as the Great Ocean Road was, I received a letter on the 27th of September 2016 that was worse than my driving experience. The letter came from the Victoria Police stating that I broke the speed limit and had to pay a penalty amount to 311 AUD! With that much money, I could purchase a new Action Camera after losing it in Flores! :(
What a wake up call!
Right after one of the best sleep I've ever had in my whole life, I was woken up by this letter. Not knowing that it was a fine ticket, I was quite excited to see that it came all the way from Melbourne.  

Suddenly, I was wide awake. The letter gave a stronger kick than a double shot of espresso. It says that I was driving at 113 km/h, which was above the permitted speed, when the speed camera caught me. My options were to pay online through credit card, to request for an internal review, or to request a court hearing.

I started texting a few friends in Melbourne to ask them for advises. Their responses could be summarized in 3 words: 'SUCK IT UP'. It was either that or getting the risk of never entering Australia ever again.

What made it worse was the fact that the letter arrived 17 days after the due date. It means that I had to pay an extra of 22.60 AUD for the late payment. As stated above, I could apply for an internal review, but everything had to be done offline, which would cost me extra effort and money to send the application through the post office. What if my application letter arrived late again while the enforcement agency had already increased the fine? What if the application letter never arrived at the enforcement agency office?

After a lot of considerations, I decided to pay the total amount. No ifs or buts. Is it a huge amount of money to me? Heck yeah, that is my gasoline money for 3 months! 

Some friends who were riding in the car told me that they are willing to help. I appreciate it very much. However, it was an honest mistake and I told them that whether or not they choose to help, I wouldn't rely on it

I hope that this writing don't come across to you as a bitter rant. My intentions are far from that. In my religious perspective, God had blessed me far beyond 311 AUD and I believe He will take care of me financially. In fact, this experience had given me a chance to build a higher level of trust to God. 

So I guess the purpose of this blog post is to remind you of 2 things:
  1. If you live in Asia, never drive outside of Asia as if you were in your hometown. I was very careful on my way to the Great Ocean Road until some locals were honking at my car because I was driving too slow. In my defense, I was driving 10 km/h below the speed limit. Because of that experience, I started driving past the limit, ignoring the speed limits. That's me giving in to peer pressure. 
  2. The worse situation that could happen to you could actually be a good thing. Lately, I had been very uninspired to write again. Perhaps, it was the financial stress that I had to cope with. However, this penalty letter reminded me that sometimes, the best thing I could do is to surrender everything to God. In response to the penalty letter, my mom said to me, "God wants to teach you something." I believe He is teaching me to surrender even more. When I did that earlier this morning, I started feeling more alive than I ever was in the past few months! It's funny how God works sometimes, isn't it?
By the way, the payment process was very easy. In fact, it was as fast as booking a hotel or a flight. Good job Victoria Police! I wish we had the same system of penalty payment in Jakarta. 

I finished all my writings about Rinjani! I will write more about Australia, Singapore and Cirebon in the upcoming months! Can't wait to share to you a hipsters' guide to cafe hopping in Melbourne this Sunda.

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