12 April 2011

Stop the Traffic

We had a fascinating conversation today with another researcher who was in Tokmok for the day.  We mostly talked about bride kidnapping (that's another post, or series of posts), but other interesting things came up too.  One was after my son came in and we talked about the short interviews he (my son) had done recently in Tokmok about law enforcement.  The answers were rather different in Tokmok than they would have been in Seattle. One answer was that people always keep money in the car in case they are pulled over.

Anyway, the researcher who is currently living in Bishkek, told us that there are two women police officers on one of the main streets in Bishkek who won't take bribes.  Instead, they give you a ticket if you did something wrong.  They are apparently not the most popular officers in Bishkek.  Interesting on a lot of levels and it gives one glimpse into why corruption is hard to fight.

Another funny story was about someone from Kyrgyz who moved to Israel.  He got one of those red batons and starting flagging cars down there.  No one stopped for him except the Russian drivers.

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