Papers, Please.

Papers, PleaseI had to pick up some necessities this evening—besides a toothbrush—so I got a cab. The company lets me sign it to their account so I can get around. The traffic isn’t too bad, it’s jsut more of a hassle to get around.

About twice now Ngong has been all backed up and there have been police in long jackets, one usually carry an automatic rifle, an AK, I think, but who am I kidding? I know about as much about guns as I know about girls: I don’t know why I like them, I just do you don’t handle them properly, they could go off at any momentmost likely hurting someone.

Still, the first time we got stopped, It was like a DUI checkpoint, but there were no flashing lights, just stopped cars and spikes in the road to deter anyone from just speeding off.

Tonight, on the way to Nakumatt, the cab was stopped. I rolled down the window, as I was instructed to last time. The officer asks to see my ID card or passport and the driver for his cab license.

Now, I dunno about you, but I never liked cavorting about foreign lands carrying on my person the sole document that will grant me entry back into home nation. I like to keep cash, important papers safe like Dick Cheney.

So I hand him my Nevada Driver’s license.mackerel

He’s trying to keep the straight cop face but he looked like I handed him a fish.

A mackerel, I think.

He hands it back to me.

But he keeps the cabbie license and goes to check the other cars behind us. Tony, my driver, explains that the cops give cabs trouble because it’s easier to get money out of cabs. I would assume it’s because the cabs give people rides and get paid in cash. You know, goods and services in exchange for currency.

But I think it’s also cause I’m a cracker. The cop wanted me to be scared. But I had nothing of which to be afraid. I’m in the country legally and I wasn’t doing anything illegal at the time. From all my run-ins with the boys in blue in The States, I’ve learned that if you haven’t done anything wrong, they’ve got nothing.

The cop returns shines his flashlight at me and asks the cabbie to get out of the car.

I just wanted to buy some damn hand soap for the kitchen that I should’ve gotten when I went to get the toothbrush

“I asked for your passport not your driver’s license. Where is your passport?”

I did not correct him that he had asked for my passport or my ID card.

“It’s in my room. Locked up. I don’t like cavorting foreign lands about with the the sole document that will grant me amnesty when I’m smuggle 14 kilos of uncut smack into central Burundi.”

Luckily, prisons in Kenya have high speed internet.

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2 Responses to Papers, Please.

  1. Jen says:

    Being harassed by Kenyan Police is like a right of passage…you can basically ignore then guys in the blue uniforms but the ones in fatigues, the Administrative Police are bad motherfuckers, keep away from them at all costs! Also, FYI…the swahili for “Give me a bribe” is “Kitu Kidogo”

  2. Dave says:

    What about the girl in blue in our Neighbor to the North?

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