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The Heat (Cops to You and Me)

October 25, 2015 2 Comments
Scenery Bishkek to Osh

Awesome scenery driving from Bishkek to Osh

We’re in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, sorry, Kirgizia, in a guesthouse in this city, pronounced Ooosh. It has two main attributes – a big rock / mountain in the middle of the city, maybe 300m high, and the largest bazaar in Central Asia. We’ve been to the latter, today we go to/up the former.

A beautiful, crisp, blue sky, 4°C, no wind.

But the purpose of this note is to clarify the so called ‘Kazakhstan’ incident.

Firstly, it was in Kyrgezstan.

We were driving west, towards Bishkek on a main highway, when what should we see on the other side of the road but a damaged car. Burnt out, abandoned, broken glass, etc, but still with Kyrgezstan number plates intact.

So I spun a U-ey, parked behind it and relieved it of its rear plate. Lynn gave strict instructions that ONE plate would do. Any collector knows the significance of having both, but I relented. Jumped in the Cruiser and Barry called on the radio why I wasn’t I getting the rear one? Lynn answered, repeating to Barry that one is enough. That’s like waving a red rag to a bull, so Baz chucked a U-ey, parked in front of the car, got his drill and undid the front one. I got out to help.

We got it, but not before a police car zoomed past with his lights flashing, obviously to catch someone.

The deed was done, the plates stored and we chucked U-eys and continue to Bishkek on this highway.

We didn’t get five km when we passed a group of police. I thought we may have been speeding, but didn’t make eye contact and continued on.

Some, (not many) kays down the road, I saw in the side mirrors a flashing blue and red light, including the car, and pitied the schmucks about to be caught.

Barrry called on the radio, suggesting they might want me. But to me, they were approaching too fast, bit like a Porsche GT3 in the mirror on the main straight at Eastern Creek! But when he got closer he eased up and I heard a klaxon horn and some mumbling out of a loudspeaker.

It was not an entirely safe place to stop, so I continued on a bit. The whacker in the blue and white car was not as patient, raised his voice, blew his klaxon and swerved closer. Pissy little thing that it was, but it was also full of kops, so I pulled over.

Lynn coached me to just say “what’s wrong” to the youngest uniform who came over. He just looked at me with a smile, said he’s called Sam for short, and after I said “what’s wrong” for the second (or third) time, he reshuffled his AK47 and told me to get out of the car and go to his. A warm welcome to be sure!

On the way to the car he explained the violation was having dark film on the passenger’s windows. I went back and asked Lynn to remove it, thinking this might mitigate the situation.

I got in the car (something like a Ford Focus) with a total of three police; two uniforms, one plain clothes. They are out on checkpoints looking for some escaped terrorists, four of whom were still at large. (Footnote: They’re all dead now, shot at shootouts around Bishkek!) The fact our passenger (their driver) side window was blacked out got their attention.

Anyway, they talked about the fine. I didn’t understand a word, but gunner Sam, in the back with me, translated.

It turns out that it was a Saturday and the money offices were closed, so I couldn’t pay the fine until Monday. So, in the meantime, they will take my car to the car-jail and I’ll get it back after I pay the fine! Ferking hell, I did as brave a dummy spit in the car as I could and explained the car is our home. (Hindsight tells me they knew this all along). They then asked if I would pay the fine? Of course! More mumbling and the plain clothes rang a friend and (bit like Who Wants to be a Millionaire – they do!).

Plain clothes handed me the phone and if The Godfather was still alive, I would swear on a stack of bibles that it was him on the phone. Slow, raspy, scary voice. He explained the amount of the fine is $US455! So I did another bravest of all dummy spits. Told them all to ferk themselves, so he told me they would take the car and I would have to turn up on Monday, pay the 455 bucks and wait for the car.

I told him 455 bucks was not acceptable, so then he said (get this) “how much will you pay?”

Have you ever felt like you are on the moon and no-one knows, or cares that you are there?

So I offered $AUD)100, about 5000 som.

He came back with 10,000 som, “only” $US150!

Him being in the strongest of bargaining positions, and as brave as I am, I accepted!

They have a card (credit looking) machine in the car, so I offered to pay by card.

Nyet, na, nado. – cash.

I didn’t have it!

ATM – bankomat.

Ok, I said, you lead the way, I’ll follow. Na, nyet, nada.
They said: “Go get your wallet kid. We’ll take you.”

Smiles all round. Didn’t realise sharks smiled!

When “The Godfather” said how much, I knew I was getting ferked over by these three (four including the godfather), but how high does the corruption go? Who in the force do you go to to stop it?

Anyway, I got my wallet, Lynn freaked to see me get back in with the sharks, and off we went at warp speed to an ATM. First one wasn’t good enough, so they took me to another. We went around and round in circles everywhere. Eventually we got to one, where I got the cash out and jumped back in the police car.

We went around one or two corners and were back at the cars.

On the way I (foolishly but I think very bravely, asked forcefully – I think forcefully) for a receipt.

That meant another phone call to the Godfather who said “If you want a receipt, pay the 45tbucks on Monday and then pick up your car”. Then, something like “be happy”, which I took as a threat.

I let the idea of a receipt go down the toilet.

Anyway, back to the car, 10000 som poorer and back on the road.

I found out by chance from a local, that the fine for such an offence as mine is 600 som. (about $AUD12!)

Since then, Barry and I ignore the police with the red battens and just drive on and don’t make eye contact. A bit risky, but we think worth it.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Ken Johnson says:

    That is gold. A.T getting screwed over-there had to be a first time for that.

  2. Christine says:

    Hi Al. Lucky you’re rich

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