Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Want My Two Dollars


August 18, 2009 Evening

It's the strangest thing about Europe. Everytime you get to a new country you don't go through one border crossing, you go through two. They always make you leave the country you're in first and then enter the country you're going to second. I'm going to say this one time so that there is no confusion.

“European bureaucrats are stupid.”

I mean, let's face it. Who cares if you leave the country? Good riddance I say. What is the purpose of checking out? It's not a hotel. I didn't drink the mini bar clean and I'm trying to get away without paying. Like “fuck-off” you uniformed bureaucrat with a meaningless job. Go do something useful like filling the potholes with your useless corpse. Sorry. I shouldn't talk this way but it's just so damn wasteful. You're paying these useless pricks anyways make them do something useful. At least make them sweat.

So I breeze through the Romanian exit border and I arrive at the Moldovan entry border. It's a very serious border indeed. The first checkpoint was being guarded by a girl in a mini skirt and high heels with a machine gun. I wish I could show you because reality is stranger than fiction. I got a picture of her on the down low but I couldn't get one of her with her machine gun and I wasn't about to try to hard.

Talk about James Bond! It was funny until she kept us there for over an hour. I was so unbelievably thirsty and I found myself drinking from this rotted tap at the side of the road. I knew my stomach would pay for it later but I had no choice.

[insert tap picture]

There was no end in sight for this checkpoint so I bit the bullet and drank from the dirty tap. I found out later the delay was because they were doing a shift change. So remember, never cross the Moldovan border at eight in the evening. Not that it mattered for me in the end.

After I got past the first checkpoint it was all over for me.


I handed over my passport.

“Moto (blah blah blah) ?”, he asked.

“Huh?”, I replied.

“Diplomat?”, he responded.

I blushed. “No, no, no. I'm not diplomat.”, I figured he assumed the way my bike was representing Canada he thought I was a diplomat. What he was asking for was the registration for my bike, or as they say “Diploma”.

I figured it out and handed over my registration. Unfortunately , this wasn't good enough for them. North American documentation doesn't have the proper flavor that these backwards hicks need. If the document doesn't have eight pages with official stamps on each one and a watermark or two they don't recognize it. In the future I'm going to be like Jim Rockford from the Rockford files and make fake documentation as I go. Of course the reality was these corrupt pricks just wanted a bribe. An Italian girl helped translate for awhile but when they finally received the 'Green Light' to leave they were gone quicker than the road runner. She tried her best but I saw the look in her eyes and they were filled with sympathy. She knew I was in for hard times.

I had two choices at this point. The easy way, which would have been to give them twenty Euro and drive away. Or the hard way, which was to try and not give them any money and try to appeal to their sense of righteousness.

I chose the hard way. And any bikers that follow in my trail can thank me now for not giving in to these bastards.

It was getting late. Maybe midnight or so. I had been there for about four hours when the senior officer said I could go. I was so happy. I walked over to my bike relieved. He walked a little quicker than me and took the keys from the ignition.

“You”, and he pointed at me, “can go.”

“Moto”, and he pointed at my motorcycle, “no go”

“No no no no....nyet nyet nyet”, I responded and sat down. I was there for another hour when a guy with a machine gun escorted me to a hotel just outside the border crossing. For 5 Euro I checked into my room and came downstairs and had an ice cream and a beer. (terrible combo but the ice cream reminded me of my wife and I needed the comfort of a good memory). I sat on the front steps of this border hotel and I drank beers with the hoods that ran this corner of the world. The funny thing is is that people would walk up to the hotel and shake my hand thinking I was a new member of this gang. Everytime someone did the other members of my gang would laugh.

The Eurotrash music finally got to me so I went to bed. I put my sleeping bag on the bed they provided me. I think I would have preferred the woods to this room but at least there was a bathroom down the hall so the people who came to murder me in my sleep could at least wash up after. I had troubles sleeping thinking that my trip was ending here in this godforsaken place with these godforsaken people.

I'm scared.


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