Friday, January 21

My First Rishwat

That means bribe. And giving, not taking.

I know we always hear the old stories about how you need to carry a few rupees while driving in India and Pakistan to pay off coppers who give grief to passer bys, but despite being in a car for most of the time while travelling in Karachi I never once got to see it done myself. Until today of course (which is kind of why I'm writing this post, but I suspect you knew that).

It was pretty much how you would imagine. It goes something like this:

  1. A policeman pulls us over.
  2. I'm told by my cousins to keep my mouth shut (the only thing that could give us away since I was in the habit of dressing even more natively than the natives).
  3. The cop then hassles the driver for his documents.
  4. The cop then creates a flimsy excuse for ticketing.
  5. The driver "makes a phone call".
  6. The cop sweats it out and then falls for the bluff and starts negotiating.
  7. The driver ends up 100 rupees out of pocket.
  8. We go on our way.
To be honest it wasn't that thrilling. Still at least that's one more thing I can tick off my todo list.