Sunday, 11 January 2009

Crisis.. police

wow, came back from NY holiday and in really seems to be the crisis here.
OK, the rubel crased by 30%, oilprice and stock by more than 70%.
But now I feel the upcoming storm.

Two days in a row police stopped & checked me. Usually this happens once a month and they don't find anything to fine.
This time the started digging till they found something (outdated(!) translation of my driving license.

Now it's funny with official persons in Russia. They usually want to pay you the penalty upfront without any official paper or receipe. (A western minded person may call this bribery, but here it's just one of the twisted way the russian soul goes we Europeans anyway never understand ).

I always refuse to pay. (I don't refuse to pay any offical fine, just the unofficial one. Of course it would be easier. But how can I become part of the system I complain so much about?).

The (1st) time the police didn't just let me go. He started to lecture me, how much more a german police men earns than him. I answered him, that this he may discuss with the city administration, not with me.

When it happened the next day a 2nd time it was right in front of the Kremel. I sat in the police car, front windows showing the illuminted Kreml 50 m from us.
The lights in the police car was out (doesn't help to write reports, but helps to pass the money unnoticed). It was quite romantic, russian police and me in the shine of the Kreml lights.
I started wto discuss where their college stopped the day before.

So I pointed out, that I am fine with paying any official fine, but... pointing to the Kreml, that they should discuss their finances with some other people.
The answer was quite surprisingly and I assume honest.

I told me, when he get an decent salary he will stop to make differences if the suspect he catches if a Russian, German or "on of them" (pointing to the Kremel).
And "they" don't want to be the same.

I kept thinking about this
We speak here about the country with the 3rd highest foreign currency reserves in the world, which is not able to pay their police (doctors, nurses, teachers) a decent salary in the most expensive city in the world.
Then I remembered how two years ago some Oligarch in the French alps was arrested for orgies during his skiing holiday where prositution was forbidden.
The public outcry in Russia was immense. And it always came down to "the European envy our money". No radio commentator or talk show stated the simple fact that the broke the law.

I guess this is it. They miss totally the concept that everybody is equal in front of the law. Considering that this was properous years I start to wonder what will happens now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"They usually want to pay you the penalty upfront without any official paper or receipe."
What's the problem, just accept what they give you. I'd be glad to receive some money.

About this blog

This blog is a close up on Russia and the CIS. I am not giving you the big picture.
I would anyway fail. I am too long here. So beauty & decay,
education & corruption, high culture & kafka-style administration are meanwhile normal for me.
So this blog is like a painting from from Roy Lichtenstein... when you are with your nose on it :) You will just see the dots, not gaining any understanding of the whole.

Most things will look strange in this blog. But you can be sure, I would not live here, if there would not be a lot of great things here. Unfortunately, the weired stories are more interesting to tell & read.
Don’t judge Russia on this blog, if you want to know the country, come over and take a look by your own.