Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I Finally Got One

I got my first ticket today! This would be the fourth time I have
been pulled over since we have been here (almost two months now). I
didn't even care any more, I gladly pulled over at what I have come to
know as the ammunitions check point entering the city. I drive by
these police almost every other day, because my cousin Vram lives just
past their stake out, and ever time he says slow down and gets
nervous, and every time I slow down, even this time. Often they
already have cars stopped and are busy already, but not today, they
actually looked pretty bored, maybe even a little hungry. Maybe they
needed some cigarette money, maybe I looked guilty, maybe my glasses,
maybe because I had a flannel shirt on and not my black sweater. What
ever the case today was the day I would be fined for not wearing my
My argument went something like this, "I didn't know, I am new here,"
that didn't work, so I tried, "some one told me I didn't have to wear
my seat belt in the city just out side of the city." That didn't work
either, and so he asked again, 5000 drams (about $16), he didn't care
about my international driving permit, or the fact that I spoke poor
Armenian, he wanted is 5000 drams. Maybe my Armenian is getting
better, maybe I am over confident with the police, who knows? Seeing
that was not getting anywhere with him I then asked, "Are you going to
write me a ticket then?" At this response he was a bit frustrated,
for this meant paper work, and I was slowing him down. Typically, the
driver barters a 5000 dram ticket price down to a 3000 dram bribe
which they quickly pay and are on their way again. Although this is
illegal now it is still a very much practiced way of dealing with the
situation. Since he was writing the ticket anyway, I had the option
to pay him now or at the police station, guess what he preferred?
So after an agonizing time of him trying to read the english spelling
of my some what Armenian name, he wrote the ticket, I signed, payed my
fine and was on my way again, with another great story.

1 comment:

Curious George said...

Was it helpful to have watch me interact with the police on Shields and Van Ness that day during the 10K run? I hope you took a few notes. :-)