Today we drove to the northern part of the country, passing small villages, rural fields and many sheep and cow herders. Walking seems to be the preferred form of transportation and one always has to keep an eye open for people on the side of the road. Driving can be challening yet fun. Some of the roads were full of pot holes – or perhaps potholes is not the appropriate word – craters might be more sufficive! So you come up on a crater in your lane, a slow mini van full of people, an aggresively passing car coming the opposite direction and no shoulder to pull off on – yes, driving here can be challenging!
Ok, on to the event of the day. We were pulled over at a routine traffic stop in the northern mountainous part of the country. The police looked at the registration info on our windshield and promptly informed us that we had expired registation and needed to pull over and stay put. We found our rental car information but did not have a working cell phone. One of the policemen tried to call the phone number for us but had no luck. We just said down and waited to see what would happen here.
While waiting, the police pulled over a bad ass large land rover. They were not Africans but rather Chinese and they were speaking the local language. The conversation became heated with both the driver and the main policeman yelling at each other. The driver walked out and they continued talking. The driver walked back to his vehicle and made a phone call on his cell phone – he then walked back towards the police. They didn’t like that – one police started trying to pull down his pants and began hitting him.
The driver lunged away and returned to his vehicle. This time he came out brandishing a fancy looking shiny pistol. There were 7 or 8 police present – they started shouting, one police reached for his gun and waived it in the air. One of the police snuck behind the driver and attempted to tackle him. Another police grabbed the gun and they pushed the guy to the ground and started beated him viciously. It became mob like – the two other occupants rushed out of the vehicle at the police – one big dude in a pink shirt rushed the police.
As soon as this happend I rushed to the safety of one side of our vehicle. This all happened within seconds. I yelled at Syy to get in the car. The passenger side of our vehicle was directly next to all the action. We slammed the doors and pulled out in a skid leaving dust and rocks flying behind us.
We pulled into the next town to collect our thoughts and get gas and screaming police cars raced by us in the opposite direction. Then we saw a police car with “traffic enforcement” written on it driving past us. We decided to try and get the forms faxed or emailed to us – but with such slow Internet and phone problems we didn’t get this resolved for 2.5 hours. Crazy