Ever now and then I’m having to drive a car instead of my motorcycle, particularly when a lot of baggage and/or a lot of passengers are involved.
So one of these days I had to drive my girl over to the airport with the SUV where she could depart to Amsterdam for her Eurotrip. On the way back, somewhere on the Paraqar road, a traffic police car was standing right in the middle of the road, very obviously hunting for prey. I spotted the car very early, checked my lights, my safety belt, my driving position and of course my speed and nailed it at 60 km/h (no person in a sane state of mind ever drives less than 80 km/h on the Paraqar road).
Right after passing them, the cops turned on the siren and pulled me over. “God damn it,” I thought, “everything was perfect, what the fuck did I do wrong?”
So I pull at the nearest convenient section of the road, put the window down, my hands on the wheel. The officer approaches. He’s a tan and fit dude in his early thirties:
“Your documents please”
“What was the offense?”
“You’re driving 65 km/h in a residential area”
“Dude, I was doing specifically 60 and paying close attention to that, too!”
He looks at me for a moment, takes a look at my documents (they are perfectly fine), then goes on in a really interesting way:
“Speeding is a very serious offense. I’m gonna have to fine you for 20,000 drams and take away your driving license.”
“Seriously though, I did not exceed 60 km/h!”
“If you disagree, you can go to a court with this case. There is a standard procedure for that. If you win, all your fine will be refunded by the State.”
He knows exactly what he’s saying. I will never go through the court hassle in Armenia and even if I do I will never think (perhaps mistakenly) that it can possibly be won. So I sigh.
“Dude, I am no going to go through any lawsuit. I don’t have the time for that and I’m sure neither do you. But I am sure as hell not paying 20,000 for going 60 km/h, and giving up my driving license isn’t going to happen either.”
“I have no idea!”
“You look like a fine mate. How about I fine you just for 5,000?”
“Step out of your car, come pay it over at ours.”
I get out of the car and approach theirs. Give the other cop the 5,000 and walk back to my car. They certainly give me no official piece of paper confirming the payment. Something crosses my angry mind and I think of a quick plan.
Before opening the door of my car, I make it obvious that I am checking their license plate number, then I sit in the car, take my cellphone and dial a friend. The cops look suspicious. They drive away. After a 2-minute chat with my pal about random shit, the cops take two U-turns and stop by my car again. Then the one cop that is not driving asks me to put my window down. I am still on the phone, so I ask my friend to wait. The cop looks very obviously terrified.
“Why aren’t you driving away?”
“I am making an important call. As far as I know, driving when talking on the mobile phone is against the law!” I am then making a move to go back to the phone. The cop immediately interrupts:
“Say,” he says, “I saw your driving license had an A-class permit stamped. Do you ride a motorcycle?”
“So considering the road we’re on, you just had to take a car this time to drive a family or a friend over to the airport, right?” he looks excited.
“That’s right, I had to drive my girlfriend for a flight to Amsterdam.”
“So then you mainly ride a motorcycle, not a car!” he looks like he just made a discovery.
“Should have mentioned that earlier, mate… Good luck!!”
The cop hands me back my 5,000 dram bill and they quickly drive away. I smile and take back my phone where my friend is waiting.
“What was going on?” he asks.
“All is well! I’ll call you back tomorrow, bro!”