Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Cats, MOT and the missing extra cars.

Yesterday I took my car for its two-yearly MOT and emissions test. It took a good hour of my time, with the waiting to go in and then the waiting while the tests took place. The Czech Government has really tightened up, photos are taken now during both both tests of the car from back and front, of the dashboard (showing the mileage), and of the car numbers on the chassis and maybe some I missed. All this takes time.

The reason for all this monitoring is to ensure the country's cars conform with EU standards. And in order to do this the Government had to do something about the cars on Czech roads which weren't really there. It was conservatively estimated that a tenth of all cars here that had "passed" the tests hadn't actually done so. To stop the scams and to remove these unsafe and polluting cars from the roads the only option was to make it impossible for unscrupulous testers to get money for nothing. The new system is all computerized with the photos and reports being uploaded to the Government's database.

I am pleased to say my car passed with flying colours, although I was worried when the tester called me over. I couldn't understand what he was saying, until he pointed at the engine and said "kočka". Sure enough there were little cat paw prints all over. Our neighbourhood feral cat(s) has been bedding down on top of my nice warm engine. Then he said "kuna". I paused. Kuna* is the Czech word for a marten and they have a reputation for chewing their way through your cables. You can buy anti-kuna sprays and hanging air fresheners. The paw prints looked like cat ones to me (they didn't have the marten's claws).  As I drove away, certificates on the seat beside me, I made the mental note to always check under the bonnet before starting the car.

*Kuna is not to be confused with kun (as I did at first). Kůň is the Czech word for horse. Now that really would be worrying!

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