Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wednesday: Court Day. I went to PN early, as usual, this time at about 09.30. The panitera, Mr. A, saw me and told me to stay put, to wait where I was. I continued my 'waiting' activities: reading research materials and drawing in my sketchbook.
10.00 The appointed time for us to meet the judge. No sign of anything. Continued waiting..
10.30 A couple of women in civil servant uniforms came and sat accross my bench. I recognized one of them, Mrs. H, as the Sub-division Head of Registration at DisDuk (the Civil Registration Office). She recognized me, too, and indeed she was to be our 'expert witness' today.
I went upstairs to see Mr. A, letting him know that our witness has arrived. He went to check the judge but, he said, she's still in a meeting. We were told to wait. Mrs. H. had another case to go, too, so she (and her assistant, apparently) took care of that first - and that was done rather quick.
11.00 Mrs. H had works to do someplace else, so she preferred not to wait any longer. I looked for Mr. A again, saying that Mrs. H would have to leave and that I didn't want to have another postponement. He said the judge was still in a meeting and would us please wait another while.
11.20 Mrs. H was kind enough to wait this long, but she really had to leave. Mr. A finally let us approach to the judges' chambers (it's in a big building, you need a password to enter). The judge was talking to a guest (a lawyer, perhaps), but knowing the situation, she let Mrs. H in. They knew each other already, because it turned out that it's not the first time for Mrs. H to appear in court as an 'expert witness' - she's done that plenty of time for various cases concerning civil registrations.
Mrs. H and the judge talked in private. We were then told to wait in Court Room II, second floor, above Juvenile Court Room.
11.50 Mrs. H, her assistant and I were still waiting in Court Room II, without any sign of the judge appearing. Mr. A had to check down-and-upstairs for the judge, and he looked annoyed, too - especially everytime Mrs. H asked him, "Where is she?"
At a point, we all went downstairs because Mrs. H would like to cancel the trial. She said, the judge has met her and acquired formal information from her, so she didn't actually need to appear in person anymore. She could make a letter containing the judge's inquiries.
12.00 We went into the court room again because we saw the judge coming. Our session finally started.
12.20 We were done listening to our expert-witness. The judge said that she had to make sure about the procedure (concerning the registration), so her decision can be followed-up. She then allowed Mrs. H to leave the room, before turning to me to read her decision, that she allowed our marriage certificate to be registered as valid according to the Indonesian law. She hit her hammer on the table: case closed.
Thank God! Finally! *does Snoopy dance*
12.30 I followed the panitera to his office to take care of paper works. Mind you, this is Mr. A, the money-crazed civil servant. So, despite the fact that I was so relieved (that the case is over), I knew that the moment I dread would come soon. As easily predicted, Mr. A rightaway asked for a sum of money, so he can process the paper works (which are: a letter of statement from PN that our marriage certificate is allowed to be validated at DisDuk). Too bad the office was empty (it's lunchtime!) so nobody could hear our conversation, nor I could embarrass him (as if that's possible) in front of his colleagues.
T: Fine, just give me the bill and I'll pay according to the amount.
A (acting as if he looked for them his drawers): Oh, but I don't keep any kuitansi here. Why don't you pay now and I'll give you the receipt when you come to pick up the letters.
T (too tired to protest, I took out 50K IDR and shoved it in front of him): This will do, I presume?
A (snatching the money from the table): Oh, yes.
T (getting up): OK, tomorrow is a holiday, so can I pick it up this Friday?
A: Yes, but I have a plan with my children already. Perhaps not Monday, but please come again on Tuesday and I'll have it ready for you.
T (leaving his desk): Right, Tuesday, then.
A: Hold on.. Let's say this payment is for the notulensi, allright? So you'll still have to pay for the Letter of Statement. Do that when you pick up the letter. How about that?
T (stopped on track and was getting reeaally tired - mumbling): Yea perhaps. We'll see. Bye.
Dear readers, I'm not an anti-tipping person, nor a cheapskate in the department of rewarding deserving people. Had Mr. A not ask to be given money (in his harsh way, I might add), I would not be so reluctant as I am now. Anyways, this matter will be taken care of next week.
Afterwards, I'll have to go to DisDuk to have our marriage certificate validated - also our kids' birth certificates. Then to KanWil HukHAM, to apply for our kids' dual nationality. There's still a long way to go, but at least this phase is over. The glass is half full!
Thank you all for your moral support, which could really boost my spirit going through all this mess. More updates to come :)