Mar. 3rd, 2011

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Where our hero observes a bribe

We had a little adventure this morning (an accounting of yesterday will come later). We had a new driver today, our regular driver couldn't make it. Our new driver can't speak English, and apparently, wasn't entirely sure of the way . By now, I can at least recognize the major intersections we pass, and which way we turn. At a particular intersection, left was the wrong way to go, but left we went.

So followed a bit of an adventure in which our driver asked people on the street for directions every few blocks, while we ride helplessly along. I make a call to the office, and our super wonderful amazing friendly receptionist (who also happens to speak Hindi and English), and she helped set him partly on track. We had a "Didn't we pass that statue already moment" as well. In the end, we were approaching the office from the wrong side, but getting close all the same. While he is on the phone getting advice from someone, he pulls over to ask a police officer directions. Unfortunately, talking on the phone while driving is illegal, so directions turns into a ticket. A 50 rupee bribe is attempted while the officer cheerily asks me in English where I am from, and shakes my hand. 50 rupee is dismissed, and the ticket continues writing. 100 rupee is attempted, and this time the money changes hands...but so does the ticket.

It seems to me at this point that the driver is down 100 rupee, and also still has a ticket, so I am not sure what he gained. 100 rupee still in hand, the cop smiles, shakes my hand again, and wishes us well. This was all less than 5 minutes away from the office.
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I should add, that is too long to be on city roads, with the window always opening, and the pollution levels what they are.

My nose actually feels a bit burnt from breathing that air.
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Someone told me that the Zurich airport is like the world's largest watch store.

I will in Zurich Sunday morning.

I am in trouble.
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I am sitting in a bar, with wireless, watching the Pakistan/Canada cricket match, and drinking a beer.

Life could be worse.

They could have better beer...but a Heineken will do.

July 2011

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